Pat Metheny – From This Place (2020)
The idea of this album is 4 musicians “jamming” on the tunes (they didn’t get the sketches until the same day) and then it’s all properly orchestrated afterwards. Which means you get the close quartet sound together with the larger orchestra sound. The sound is a bit blurry though, and I think it’s because the drums take up a lot of space rather than being more in the background like on earlier PM recordings. Sometimes you can barely hear the orchestra. Apart from that, it’s a really good album with great musicianship and a good variety of songs, all of them sounding like Pat Metheny in one way or the other. The melodies are not always very clear, so it might take a few listens to distinguish the songs from each other. The only track with a catchy theme melody is the folk-jazzy #7. The whole album describes America in its current situation very well, it’s almost like Pat could see what was coming in 2020 with songs like #1 and #8, the latter with beautiful lyrics.