Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pat Metheny Group - Travels (1983)

A live album, recorded on the 1982 tour supporting the release of Offramp. Like most good live jazz albums, it features many tunes never before recorded/released among a few fan favorites. In the early '80s, the group included "special guest" percussionist/vocalist Nana Vasconcelos and the band's sound at the time was heavily influenced by Brazilian music while still allowing Metheny to experiment with the latest technology. Perfectly sequenced, I find the recordings stunningly beautiful and recommend this release without hesitation.

Memo to ECM: I'd be willing to fork over for a remastered box set that featured all the recordings made during this tour.

The album won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance.
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★★
Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Album Guide: ★★★½
Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★★
Allmusic: ★★★★

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #62
Peak on the Billboard Jazz chart: #3
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #85

TrackOriginal Album
Are You Going With Me?Offramp
The Fields, The Sky Travels
Phase Dance Pat Metheny Group
Straight On RedTravels
Farmer's Trust Travels
Goin' Ahead - As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
Travels Travels
Song for BilbaoTravels
San Lorenzo Pat Metheny Group

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Among my college buddies in the mid-'80s, this was probably the Metheny album we listened to the most regardless of format: double LP, cassette, or eventually CD. As a knuckleheaded college kid, I couldn't truly comprehend the music and I'm not certain I fully understand it yet.

The album consists of live material recorded in July, October, and November 1982, in Philadelphia, Dallas, Sacramento, Hartford, and Nacogdoches. Nacogdoches (pronounced NAC-uh-DOH-chiss) is a small college town in deep East Texas where this humble blogger has lived since 2006. Metheny performed in (haunted?) Turner Auditorium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University (my employer during my time in Nacogdoches). I was nowhere near Nacogdoches in 1982, so I wasn't present at the recording of this album, but I've been in Turner Auditorium for plenty of events/concerts/performances over the past 11 years, most recently for the Big Head Blues Club.

Previously revisited for the blog:

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