Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pat Metheny - 2017 "Live In The '70s" [5 CD Box]

The entire original WBCN, KJAZ, WNYU and WLIR FM Radio Broadcasts. Covering live performances Boston (1976), San Francisco, Seattle (1977), New York (1978 & 1979). Professionally re-mastered with background liners and rare archival photos in a 5 CD box set.

Having played with Gary Burton, Jaco Pastorius and other leading fusion musicians, the prodigious Pat Metheny made his solo recording debut in 1976 with the classic Bright Size Life. The following year he released Watercolors, marking the start of his long collaboration with pianist Lyle Mays and the forming of The Pat Metheny Group. That summer they played various dates (together with bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb). They were swiftly acclaimed as one of America’s foremost fusion bands. Their second album, American Garage, appeared in June 1979, and reached #1 on the Billboard jazz chart soon afterwards, propelled by the up-tempo (Cross the) Heartland, which became their signature tune. The superb tracks featured here, performed live and broadcast on FM radio, include material from Watercolors, the Pat Metheny Group album and American Garage, presented here together with background notes and images.

This is a collection of previously released live sets--"Boston Jazz Workshop" ('76), "Great American Music Hall" ('77), "Seattle Opera House" ('78), and two discs from "Hofstra University" ('79). The sound varies slightly but overall is very decent to good. There's some slight distortion occasionally and a bit of muddiness in the bass at times. But for Metheny fans who (like me) like this era, this is a nice way to have all these separate albums in one nice, neat box set. Like other albums only available in the UK, some of these individual albums aren't available in the U.S., so this is a good way to have it all. The discs slip inside cardboard jackets with graphics similar to the box cover graphic, and the booklet is only okay like many of these kinds of sets. The outer clamshell box is fairly substantial cardboard. But it's the music that's important, and on that score this box set delivers.

Founder Pat Metheny first emerged on the jazz scene in the mid-1970s with a pair of solo albums. First was Bright Size Life, released in 1976, a trio album with bass guitarist Jaco Pastorius and drummer Bob Moses. The next album, released in 1977, was Watercolors, featuring Eberhard Weber on bass, pianist Lyle Mays, and drummer Danny Gottlieb.

Despite the common description of Metheny's music as "fusion," it was always his intention[citation needed] to create improvised music that had a greater emphasis on bringing out harmony than anything common to what was called "fusion" of the time. Pastorius, with whom Metheny struck up a friendship while the two attended the University of Miami and later toured in Joni Mitchell's backing band during her transition from her earlier folk rock compositions to those with more jazz influence, had at the same time explored melodic lines for his instrument within the melodies normally heard, rather than just providing a simple bassline, revolutionizing the way the bass guitar was viewed by the musical establishment. The two friends would talk into the late evening during the early 1970s and discuss the new possibilities their instruments held.

At the same time, Jaco and I were both really on a mission to find a way to play and find a way to present our instruments in an improvisational environment that expressed our dissatisfaction with the status quo at the time.

— Pat Metheny
In 1977, bassist Mark Egan joined Metheny, Mays, and Gottlieb to form the Pat Metheny Group. They released the self-titled album "Pat Metheny Group" in 1978 on the ECM label, which featured several songs co-written by Metheny and Mays. The group's second album, American Garage in 1979, was a breakout hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart and crossing over to the pop charts as well, largely on the strength of the up-tempo opening track "(Cross the) Heartland" which would become a signature tune for the group. The group built upon its success with lengthy tours in the USA and Europe.

The group featured a unique sound, particularly due to Metheny's Gibson ES-175 guitar coupled to two digital delay units and Mays' Oberheim synthesizer and Yamaha Organ. The group played in a wide range of styles from experimental to grassroots music. Later on, Metheny began working with the Roland GR300 guitar synthesizer and a Synclavier System, while Mays expanded his setup with a Prophet 5 synthesizer designed by Sequential Circuits, and later with many other synthesizers.

Track Listings:

Disc: 1
  1. Bright Size Life
  2. River Quay
  3. There Will Never Be Another You
  4. Band Introduction
  5. Watercolours
  6. Nacada
  7. The Whopper
  8. Icefire
  9. Unquity Road
  10. Untitled

Disc: 2
  1. Phase Dance
  2. Watercolours
  3. San Lorenzo
  4. Wrong Is Right

Disc: 3
  1. WYNU Intro
  2. Phase Dance
  3. April Joy
  4. Talk
  5. Unity Village
  6. The Windup
  7. The Epic
  8. WYNU Announcer
  9. Hermitage
  10. Lakes
  11. Midwestern Nights Dream
  12. Jaco
  13. San Lorenzo
  14. American Garage
  15. WYNU Announcer

Disc: 4
  1. Introduction
  2. Phase Dance
  3. Airstream
  4. Pat Chats
  5. April Joy
  6. Unity Village/The House of the Rising Sun/The Windup
  7. The Epic

Disc: 5
  1. James
  2. Old Folks
  3. Jaco
  4. The Magician's Theater
  5. San Lorenzo
  6. Thank You/Band Intros
  7. (Cross The) Heartland
  8. WLIR Announcer
  9. American Garage


Pat Metheny - Guitars
Lyle Mays - Piano, Keyboards
Danny Gottlieb - Drums
Mark Egan - Bass
Mike Richmond - Bass (disc 1)


  1. Great - but no link?


  3. Thank you - sorry for premature comment re link! :)

  4. Thank you! Sorry for premature comment re link! :)

  5. Thanks awesome post!!

  6. That's amazing, many thanks my friend!!

  7. Thanks Crim
    I like the PMG from this time...Great !

  8. Thanks you so much for your work!


  9. ciao
    grazie 1.000 per questo bellissimo box
    please rush sector 3 grazie
    ciao Luca

    1. Sorry friend, I do not own Rush Sector III :-(