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Crate Digger’s Gold: Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman – Song X

January 6, 2013

song xAt the height of his popularity, jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny recorded an immensely challenging album with free jazz king Ornette Coleman.

What a statement. After starting his career with the atmospheric European  jazz label ECM, Metheny makes his debut on the pop label Geffen with a free jazz tour de force.  How he negotiated this deal is amazing.

So what about the music?  This is really a Ornette Coleman date – he wrote or co-wrote all of the songs. Metheny follows Ornette’s lead by either doubling along with Coleman or by squawking with his own horn like leads on guitar or guitar synth.

This is hyper music – over caffeinated.  But in the right mood it makes total sense.  I have had a long day and I finished it off by watching the Vikings get their buts kicked by the Packers.  In the 4th quarter I turned down the sound an listened to CD 1 of Miles Davis the Complete Jack Johnson Sessions. That put me in the mood to spin a thought-provoking  album prior to retiring.

As I looked through my hot pile (recently acquired or actively listening to vinyl) I stumbled upon this release.  I had originally picked it up when it was first released in 1986 on CD, but somehow I recently picked up a used vinyl edition.   I have no recollection of buying it and tonight was my first listen to this vinyl edition.

This is a student and his guru in a deep conversation.  This is not easy listening, but if you are in the mood to listen to two giants spar this will capture your imagination.

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