|Pat Metheny - Secret Story
Secret Story represents one of the most ambitious projects in the Metheny catalog. Not only does it employ past and present members of the Pat Metheny Group, but also it is one of his deeply personal statements as a musician and a person. Pat makes use of the London Symphony Orchestra, a Cambodian choir, Japanese and world elements to make this a truly uncategorizable, if sometimes heavy at nearly (an hour and twenty minutes release). The disc starts with "Above The Treetops" a haunting melody featuring a Cambodian choir, and a reflective Metheny acoustic guitar statement. There are also tracks which are more typical of the Metheny Group such as "Rain River"(one can hear similarities to "Every Summer Night from Letter From Home in this track as well as a line that would be later be used for the melody in "Here To Stay" from the Group's 1995 We Live Here album) and "See The World" which bears an eerie similarity to "Have You Heard". Among the more adventurous tracks in the album is "Finding and Believing" a 3 movement composition which moves from an ambient electronic new age type feel with Mark Ledford's Indian chant to a ominous orchestral section, and ending with a brilliant solo from Pat. "Cathedral in a Suitcase" features Metheny's extensive use of sequencing and Synclavier guitar, in an almost gothic like piece that may remind videogame fans of music that would appear in games made by the company Squaresoft. "The Truth Will Always Be" is soundtrack like ballad featuring a trademark Metheny guitar synth improvisation, and "Antonia" is a gorgeous sensual erotic tango styled piece with Pat's usage of the Synclavier to emulate an accordion. In the midst of Pat's prolific discography, Secret Story remains a stimulating personal piece that represents his wonderful talent and skill in creating in a sense a soundtrack for his Secret Story, or perhaps everyone's, since many tracks could appeal to one's own life.
Reviewed by: CJ Shearn
AMG Review (3 1/2):
This intriguing set is quite adventurous in its own way, covering different styles of world music. "Above the Treetops" uses the eerie-sounding Pinpeat Orchestra of the Royal Ballet and the Choir of the Cambodian Royal Palace (!), while other selections find Metheny not only playing electric and acoustic guitars but a Synclavier (to simulate an accordion), piano, electric bass and even an electric sitar. Some of the pieces (which feature keyboardist Lyle Mays) are more typical of the output of Metheny's Group, while a few others that use members of the London Orchestra are closer to soundtrack music than to improvised jazz. Even with all of the variety, there is plenty of fine guitar playing and lots of thought-provoking music from the always unpredictable Pat Metheny. — Scott Yanow