congo Vu Trio MeeTS PaT MeTheny

Guitar Techniques - - MUSIC REVIEW -

Nonesuch ✪✪✪ ✪✪

Metheny has never been fear­ful of ven­tur­ing into fresh realms and this new re­lease is one hel­luva jour­ney! Work­ing with The Congo Vu Trio (trum­peter Congo Vu, bas­sist Stomu Takeishi and drum­mer Ted Poor), the re­sults sound at times like early BBC Ra­dio­phonic Work­shop meets free jazz (Dr Who shar­ing a pot of tea with Or­nette Cole­man?). This is the case with the opener, Acid Kiss - nine min­utes of episodic quirk­i­ness and ex­plo­sive in­ter­play. Things set­tle on Not Crazy (Just Giddy Up­ping), where the jud­dery rhythms un­der­pin a se­duc­tively chro­matic main head and ex­cit­ing solo; it’s jazz, al­beit with gleam­ing new wheels! While Metheny isn’t known for ag­gres­sive tones, Tiny Lit­tle Pieces crescen­dos with his scream­ing ‘distorted-plustrade­mark synth trum­pet’ phras­ing as the band dips and dives around him. The al­bum is as much about quar­tet in­ter­play as dy­namic or tim­bral ex­plo­rations; cer­tainly, Metheny is as happy comp­ing be­hind Vu’s trum­pet as let­ting go with mourn­ful bends and twist­ing se­quen­tial phrases. If you think of Metheny as a tra­di­tion­al­ist, this should re­align your per­cep­tions!

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