Pat Metheny Group “still life talking” album review (JazzTimes, December 1987)

Pat Metheny Group
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April is Jazz Appreciation Month! In honor of which, every day during this month I will dig into the archives from my years as a jazz journalist (1987-1994), and post a random jazzy article here in A MUSIC LISTENER’S JOURNAL. Enjoy!

TODAY’S POST: my review of still life talking, the 1987 album from the Pat Metheny Group. (click on image until readable) Pat Metheny Group

One thought on “Pat Metheny Group “still life talking” album review (JazzTimes, December 1987)

  1. shiveringgoat

    Wonderfully Randomness embraced! Great Review !

    I almost find words not enough to explain what I feel about this album. I was going through huge personal and spiritual growth at the time and the album helped reinforce the direction I wanted to move forward with.
    “Last Train Home” still brings tears to my eyes. I have literally listened to that track thousands of times and heard any available bootleg concert recordings and studied how he slightly changes the improvised part which is within a very narrow window, I read an interview with Pat Metheny and he finds the solo improvisation part really hard for some reason. I remember going on holiday to a Greek Island in 1989 and listening to the track looking over the Swiss mountains from the plane window on repeat until I landed in Crete. This album has been one of my best friends since 1987 along with the Beethoven Symphonies (2,4,6,7,8) my favourites. Anyway back to this album bizarrely I spent my 50th birthday in Chicago in Oak Park. David Blamires who sang on the album is from the same area as me in the UK and we connected many years ago via the internet and he waited for a few hours at O’Hare as the snow was really bad and plane from UK was diverted as running out of fuel anyway he waited for me at the airport and we spent a couple of days hanging out and laughing so much. We hooked up with Steve Rodby too who also lives in Oak park the beautiful art deco area of Chicago that was just beautiful as there was heavy snow in November I visited.

    Sadly Mark Ledford who was his real buddy in the Pat Metheny Group died in 2004, they both joined in 1987 and stayed around 10 years, he told me loads of funny stories about ‘Led’ who could do a wicked Michael Jackson impersonation apparently and how he had to rescue him from a fight in a bar in Spain the they toured the world with Metheny and loads of funny stories that I can’t write here. I couldn’t believe I was with the singer who sang all those amazing parts on that album, they ‘owned’ “Last Train Home” and even though I loved Pedro Aznar for different reasons when he sang last train home David and Led cut the chase for me.
    Going back to the album it still sounds fresh, I believe at the time Metheny had had a big disagreement with Manfred Eicher as he wouldn’t fund Metheny to go into a bigger studio hence leaving ECM and this album was made if I remember rightly at the Power Station in NYC, his first or second for Geffen (maybe Song X was first late here using my memory!)
    It’s getting late here but going to listen to ‘Distance’ and ‘In Her Family’ the last two lovely slow tracks from this gem of an album to help me slumber into sweet dreams.

    You wrote the original article in 1987, this blog post in April 2013 26 years later and this is the only Metheny album I think is on this blog and here I am blabbing on about it 32 years after its release and your review, and this has also been really therapeutic adding these words so THANK YOU from one lover of REAL good taste to another.

    Your passion for music inspires me Diane especially the diversity, I’m humbled and grateful.

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