8 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This 1983 album featuring three Ornette Coleman songs tells us two things. First, it’s altogether apt that guitarist Pat Metheny is joined by bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins, both Coleman alumni. And secondly, unlike the Pat Metheny Group fusion material (which is also quite good), this collection of songs is more firmly based in edgy jazz interplay. Whether it’s the covers (ironically, “Lonely Woman” is the Horace Silver version instead of the Coleman classic) or Metheny originals, there's a distinct chemistry where Haden functions as the swingman between his years with the always-understated Higgins and his voluminous folk-jazz excursions with Metheny. He solos in his usual lyrical manner on “Blues for Pat” (which he wrote) and adds some ambient bass tones to “Waiting for an Answer” (which he cowrote). Metheny straps on the synthesizer guitar for much of the album's second half, and while “Story from a Stranger” has a nice melodic core, things get pretty wild on “The Calling.” Not the acknowledged masterpiece from this era, this is still worthy of considerable attention.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This 1983 album featuring three Ornette Coleman songs tells us two things. First, it’s altogether apt that guitarist Pat Metheny is joined by bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins, both Coleman alumni. And secondly, unlike the Pat Metheny Group fusion material (which is also quite good), this collection of songs is more firmly based in edgy jazz interplay. Whether it’s the covers (ironically, “Lonely Woman” is the Horace Silver version instead of the Coleman classic) or Metheny originals, there's a distinct chemistry where Haden functions as the swingman between his years with the always-understated Higgins and his voluminous folk-jazz excursions with Metheny. He solos in his usual lyrical manner on “Blues for Pat” (which he wrote) and adds some ambient bass tones to “Waiting for an Answer” (which he cowrote). Metheny straps on the synthesizer guitar for much of the album's second half, and while “Story from a Stranger” has a nice melodic core, things get pretty wild on “The Calling.” Not the acknowledged masterpiece from this era, this is still worthy of considerable attention.

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