Mike Metheny | 60.1

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Crossover Jazz Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Mike Metheny

Trumpet/flugelhorn/EVI soloist Mike Metheny's ninth album as a leader features an all-star cast of Kansas City's finest jazz musicians on an eclectic set that covers many musical styles and seven MM originals.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dubious Medley
4:03 $0.99
2. 60.1
7:34 $0.99
3. Laurie
8:06 $0.99
4. Syncomation
7:42 $0.99
5. C.C. & Water
6:05 $0.99
6. Blue Smoke
7:32 $0.99
7. Mancini Sunset
3:08 $0.99
8. Adagio for Maya
4:58 $0.99
9. Hassell Free
5:27 $0.99
10. Till Later
3:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"60.1" is trumpeter Mike Metheny's ninth album as a leader and it features an all-star cast of Kansas City's finest jazz musicians joining Mike to cover many different musical styles. There's straightahead jazz, an evocative ballad or two, contemporary orchestral, New Age, the raucous title track... even a novel nod to marching bands.

1) Dubious Medley (arranged by mm): Pat Metheny meets "marching band"
2) 60.1 (mm, composer): headbanger featuring electric trumpet (EVI) and drums
3) Laurie (Bill Evans, composer): jazz ballad featuring flugelhorn and acoustic piano
4) Syncomation (mm): contemporary jazz, flugelhorn and electric piano featured
5) C.C. & Water (Dave Zoller, composer): medium uptempo blues w/jazz quartet
6) Blue Smoke (mm): film noir meets EVI, jazz quartet and strings
7) Mancini Sunset (mm): bossa inspired by Henry Mancini
8) Adagio for Maya (mm): contemporary orchestral
9) Hassell Free (mm): World/New Age inspired by Jon Hassell/Brian Eno
10) Till Later (mm): jazz ballad w/EVIs, flugelhorn and keyboards

Mike Metheny (flugelhorn, EVI, keyboards), Roger Wilder and Paul Smith (keyboards), Bob Bowman (acoustic bass), Brandon Draper (drums), Danny Embrey (acoustic guitar), Justin Wilson (keyboards and programming).



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Michael Pagan

Michael Metheny 60.1
With a cast of superb musicians from Kansas City, Mike Metheny’s 60.1, his ninth album as leader, is adventuresome and daring while still firmly rooted the jazz tradition. His playing takes command of the jazz language on its own terms, with an economy of motion that is satisfyingly impressive without ever being overbearing. His compositions demonstrate a wide variety of influences and styles, all well-informed: with a liner note statement making reference to his age of sixty years, one is struck by the youthful spirit and energy of these pieces as well as qualities one would expect from a veteran. Listeners will immediately catch the MIDI/marching band rendition of Dubious Medley - an overture that salutes four compositions of younger brother Pat – “It’s Just Talk,” “James,” “Facing West” and “Beat 70.” This rousing opener does not so much signify things to come as much as it says “get ready - anything can happen.” And just about anything and everything does in the ensuing hour of this delightful project. The title track 60.1 wastes no time in taking us back to the late ‘60s/early ‘70s style at its best; a jazz-rock tour-de-force featuring the hard-hitting solo work of Brandon Draper, Metheny’s searing EVI melodies and the Rhodes electric piano of Roger Wilder comping away in relentless repetition. No Rhodes patch here; Wilder’s instrument is obviously authentic, as is his support of Draper’s thunder while Metheny’s EVI whales and smolders throughout. Laurie, a Bill Evans classic written toward the end of his career (and life) receives a reverent reading by Metheny, rich in its complexity, ornamentation and nuance. The dark, burry sound of Mike’s flugel horn is unique, mysterious, and an excellent study of control and expression in the low range of the instrument while Roger Wilder’s piano solo thoughtfully acknowledges Evans the master without trying to imitate. Syncomation utilizes a quasi-minimalist approach in its harmonic structure. Draper’s work on this track is especially appealing in the way he successfully avoids a redundant groove by constantly mixing and filling while Wilder and Bowman hold things in sync. Metheny briefly displays another side of his improvisational personality – more declamatory and articulate - while Wilder turns in a sparkling Rhodes solo. C.C. & Water takes us straight down the middle of the road in a B flat blues. Bob Bowman is first out of the chute on this one, all over it in is beloved upper register as he gives way to a west coast-tinged, swinging Metheny flugel solo. Again the creative ideas flow with the completely original stamp of a master. Roger Wilder assembles a solo filled with nods to the gods of bluesy jazz piano and Draper is the perfect hard-swinging accompanist; he comps as if saying “hey, gimmie some” and, sure enough, the trading of fours follow before this joyous romp concludes. Blue Smoke begins like a requiem with its plaintive piano statement; Metheny’s EVI restates it and then the feel loosens up a bit as if the ensemble is saying “hey, this really isn’t all that sad.” Like so many countless accomplished jazz artists, Metheny has an obvious love for bebop and more. His weaving in and out between the lyrical, the passionate, and the eighth note combine for an elegant solo. Justin Wilson’s programmed strings, introduced toward the end of the cut, take this one to another level amid Bowman’s growling bass and Draper’s bear-handed support. Another Metheny gem, Mancini Sunset is a brief track on which Metheny plays all instruments; it is followed by the compelling Adagio for Maya, an essay in color as well as harmony, in which the Metheny’s flugel horn tones are perhaps more an effect than an actual melody. Justin Wilson’s programmed strings add a lush backdrop to this number as well. The soundscape Hassell Free again features Metheny on all instruments, demonstrating again in how many different directions this recording takes us. Till Later, the closer, features the Kansas City pianist Paul Smith with Metheny on EVIs and flugelhorn, a poignant and fitting conclusion to this marvelous set. A brilliant effort by a venerated fixture of the jazz landscape, 60.1 will resonate profoundly wit serious jazz lovers as well as those with more eclectic tastes. Bravo, Michael Metheny for musically journeying where few dare to go. -Michael Pagan