Pat Metheny Group Imaginary Day Live

Pat Metheny Group Imaginary Day Live
Over an extensive career, Pat Metheny and his gold-standard musicianship have travelled from the solidly melodic with vibist Gary Burton to the angularly abstract with saxist Ornette Coleman with intelligence and grace. On Imaginary Day Live, his six-piece touring group plays the ten-tune suite at the scenic Paul Masson winery. After a brief intro on his multi-stringed guitar, the group get grooving with "Follow Me,” sounding a lot like a lost Milton Nascimento piece. The leader is positively eloquent, using his sax sound-alike patch on guitar synth while drummer Paul Wertico lays down infectious rhythmic patterns. "A Story Within the Story” borders on smooth jazz, something that may trouble jazz purists but which should pose no problem to listeners who don’t require complexity to get their jollies. The piece also features Mark Ledford on vocals, rhythm guitar and beautifully melodic muted trumpet — very tasty. The concert ends with a joyous 6/8 romp, "Minuano,” which brings the appreciative audience to its feet. Two drawbacks are the audio’s lack of a crisp high end and the overly vague Metheny interview. But this DVD is still an enjoyable watch. (Eagle Vision)