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Monday, August 12, 2013

John Zorn's Book Of Angels volume 20 - Tap - Pat Metheny (USA 2013)

Masada Book Two.

Most of the recordings for this "Book Of Angels" series have been recorded by various combinations of Zorn's regular players or others from the roster of his Tzadik label. This time Zorn has gone outside that ring and involved someone of more considerable international renown. I am not at all familiar with Pat Metheny's works but this set is living up to the hype. The album kicks of in great style with an impressive up tempo piece that has all sorts of things happening all over the place but is a mostly coherent piece and is kinda the highlight of the record. Metheny plays all the instruments except drums. The following track is a far more subtle track with mostly guitar, some light bass and laid back mellow percussion, a bit of an ECM feel and that mellower vibe is where parts of the rest of the album heads, even Mrs. Roddus said she liked some of it.
Track 3 starts off kinda like track one but gets more ECM like especially with the Flugelhorn(I Think), it is all quite beautiful, although almost mechanical like in places and finishes up more full on.
On initial listens I was immediately taken in by the opening track but in casual listening was slightly disappointed the rest of the album didn't quite follow suit although the mellower moments did attract the notice of Mrs. Roddus as noted. On closer inspection with headphones the set isn't as mellow as first impressions gave, it is just that it doesn't quite reach the heights of  the first track and there are several mellower sections that I focused on. Metheny is obviously a great guitarist and there is plenty of that throughout this set to keep his fans interested. So, first I was excited about a new volume of  Book Two, then I was most impressed with the first track but felt let down by the rest of the album, now I am growing in my appreciation of this release as I give it more attention and concentration. Rating 4/5.

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