This week William shares the music of Grammy Award winning American Guitarist Pat Metheny
Image: Pat Metheny Bio
Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility – a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional “jazz guitar” sound for a new generation of players.
Throughout his career, Pat Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument. METHENY’S versatility is almost nearly without peer on any instrument. Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich to Ornette Coleman to Herbie Hancock to Jim Hall to Milton Nascimento to David Bowie. Metheny’s body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical.
You can read Pat Metheny’s full bio: http://www.patmetheny.com/bio/
Now some examples of this talented artist’s music
“And I Love Her” was written by Paul McCartney and first recorded by The Beatles. Metheny got his inspiration to play guitar from the Beatles when he was a child and offers us a beautiful, bossa-styled version of this song, taken from the album “What’s It All About” released on Nonesuch Records in 2011. Metheny’s guitar playing is light, aesthetic, and nuanced as he masterfully interprets this gorgeous melody. In 2012, the album “What’s It All About” won a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.
“As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls” is a duet album Metheny recorded with keyboardist Lyle Mays in 1981. The title of this song makes reference to Witchita, Kansas and Wichita Falls, Texas. On this album Metheny plays both the lead and accompanying guitar, as well as the bass. This 20 minute tune is moody and enigmatic with assorted African, Indian, and Latin American percussions played by Nana Vasconcelos. Metheny and Mays’ performance comes across as serene and melancholic. As the full version cannot be played due to performance rights.. here is September Fifteenth from the album. Courtesy of troubleclef
“Are You Going With Me” was composed by Metheny and keyboardist Lyle Mays for the third Pat Metheny Group album “Offramp”, released in 1982. This piece has a Latin inflection with a bass vamp featuring two solos, one by Mays – a synthed-harmonica melody, and the second by Metheny which he played on his Roland GR-300.* The sound coming from the Roland has been compared to wind instruments and the trumpet. “Are You Going With Me” was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition at the 1983 Grammy Awards and the Boston Globe chose it as the “best fusion ballad of the year”. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music said it was “wonderfully contagious and arresting.” The album “Offramp” won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance as well as the Playboy Readers Poll for Best Jazz Album in 1982.
• The Roland GR-300 is a guitar synthesizer manufactured by the Roland Corporation.
“The Sound of Water”, from the album “Metheny Mehldau Quartet” with Brad Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on double bass and Jeff Ballard on drums was released in 2007 on Nonesuch Records. Here, Metheny showcases his harp guitar,* called the “Pikasso” (designed for him by Linda Manzer in 1984), which resembles a Cubist portrait of the guitar. On “The Sound of Water”, with its pastoral theme, Metheny demonstrates his proficiency with his Pikasso while Mehldau blends in with a staggering piano counterpoint. These two musicians communicate beautifully together and the result is elegant and fascinating.
• Harp guitar – a guitar-based stringed instrument generally defined as a guitar, in any of its accepted forms, with any number of additional unstopped strings that can accommodate individual plucking. The word “harp” is used in reference to its harp-like unstopped open strings. A harp guitar must have at least one unfretted string lying off the main fretboard, typically played as an open string.
Buy the music of Pat Metheny: https://www.amazon.com/Pat-Metheny
William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.
His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.
While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.
His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.
In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.
William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION – https://williampriceking.tumblr.com
Buy William’s music ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484
Connect with William
You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/
As always we would love to receive your feedback.. thanks Sally and William