By Bobby Talamine
Even after what was considered a monumental rainstorm about 30 minutes before showtime at the one and only Ravinia Festival up in Highland Park: that still did not hinder the faithful and the Jazz devotees who came out to hear the one and only Pat Metheny and his wonderful backup band play his music.
Pat Metheny never ceases to amaze. Still highly regarded as an improv virtuoso, he plays with boundless energy and a with a keen ear to providing the foundations of counter melody with formidable musicians who back him up.
There are no slouches amongst the quartet.
Antonio Sanchez on drums. He’s been Pat’s go to drummer for over 20 years. His skills are striking yet nuanced: you have to really pay attention to his fills and counter beats. He’s not a crash and burn drummer. he knows restraint, but has a flair to mix things up on the spot. I counted three snare drums to his immediate left, which he uses all at a moments notice.
Gwilym Simcock on Piano and Keyboards. Ultra gifted on acoustic piano. A brilliant Jazz – melody improviser with intuitive and creative invention, who like Antonio Sanchez, can steer a melody into uncharted territory at a moments notice.
Linda Oh on acoustic and electric bass. A girl on upright bass who has a unique sound and improv instincts that adeptly matches exchanges with Pat’s electric guitar playing.
Now put this all together…and it’s cut loose time.
For a guy who yearns for melody and sophisticated playing; I’m more than satisfied.
Outside of some gentle instrumentals, with Pat on acoustic guitar, and his unique custom made 42 string Pikasso guitar (which he opened the show with) –
This was a refreshing show – a tour de force of musicianship and sophisticated playing.
For more on Pat Matheny, click here
For photos from the Ravinia show, click here
Setlist Pat Metheny live at Ravinia June 14, 2017
1: Pikasso Instrumental Guitar Introduction: Into the Dream
2: Have you Heard
3: Always and Forever
5: Better Days Ahead
7: The Red One
8: Tell Her You Saw Me
9: Phase Dance
10: Question and Answer
11: Acoustic Solo Medley:
Set. 15th, This Is Not America, Last Train Home, Etc
12: Song for Bilbao
13: And I Love Her
14: Are You Going With Me?
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