8 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With those eight fast and widely spaced guitar notes that begin the title track of Bright Size Life, then 21-year-old Pat Metheny launched a career that would redefine jazz guitar and reach into countless areas of music, netting 20 Grammys and counting. The trio is formidable: Metheny with the ill-fated Jaco Pastorius, a king among electric bass innovators, and drummer Bob Moses, who took the name Ra Kalam and remained a fixture of the Boston jazz scene out of which Metheny sprung. The sound is airy and transparent, the swing and lyricism deep, marked by the pastoral feeling of Metheny’s native Missouri but harmonically advanced and unusual, even paying homage to the avatar of free jazz Ornette Coleman with the closing medley “Round Trip / Broadway Blues” (a harbinger of Metheny’s work with Coleman on Song X). Easily a landmark in the documentation of 20th-century jazz trios, Bright Size Life also paved the way for Metheny’s later trios with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins, Dave Holland and Roy Haynes, Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart, and Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With those eight fast and widely spaced guitar notes that begin the title track of Bright Size Life, then 21-year-old Pat Metheny launched a career that would redefine jazz guitar and reach into countless areas of music, netting 20 Grammys and counting. The trio is formidable: Metheny with the ill-fated Jaco Pastorius, a king among electric bass innovators, and drummer Bob Moses, who took the name Ra Kalam and remained a fixture of the Boston jazz scene out of which Metheny sprung. The sound is airy and transparent, the swing and lyricism deep, marked by the pastoral feeling of Metheny’s native Missouri but harmonically advanced and unusual, even paying homage to the avatar of free jazz Ornette Coleman with the closing medley “Round Trip / Broadway Blues” (a harbinger of Metheny’s work with Coleman on Song X). Easily a landmark in the documentation of 20th-century jazz trios, Bright Size Life also paved the way for Metheny’s later trios with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins, Dave Holland and Roy Haynes, Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart, and Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez.

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