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In the Shadow of Blackbirds
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Timothy Egan

The Pat Metheny Interviews

The Pat Metheny Interviews - Richard Niles A proverbial eavesdropping on a conversation between two long-time friends and musicians, The Pat Metheny Interviews, is an insightfully revealing dialogue between American jazz guitarist and composer, Pat Metheny, and Richard Niles, a renowned recording artist, composer, producer and songwriter. Richard Niles first met Pat Metheny at Berklee College of Music in 1974. It's hard to imagine that Metheny would take the time and discuss his thoughts on his long career with anyone other than a close friend, given his admitted self-criticism and intense working schedule. As a reader, and a fan from the beginning, I am glad he did. Drawn from a series of interviews Niles made with Metheny on several occasions, the book is a compilation comprised for a three-part BBC in 2007 titled, Pat Metheny -- Bright Size Life.Metheny is a rare exception in the contemporary music scene. He is an artist who has had a long recording and touring career, continuing to attract and maintain a large and devoted audience for over thirty years. In The Pat Metheny Interviews, Pat discusses his need for finding his own means of musical expression through composition. He details his dedication to practicing, his musical inspirations, the issues of sound and melody, addresses jazz as a genre, among other topics. What separates him from many other talented musicians, he attributes to his razor-like focus on what he wanted to do with his playing and knowing how he wanted to go about it from a very early age.Informal in tone, the question and answer format is mostly easy to follow, even when it gets into discussions of abstract concepts. There are a few sections of musician lingo and music theory references that only musicians might appreciate. Interspersed, are entries from some of the musicians Metheny has performed with during his career, such as, Gary Burton, John Patitucci, Lyle Mays, and Jack DeJohnette. Photographs included portray his teenaged years of playing gigs around Kansas City, record company portraits, and tour pictures.An engaging examination of an enduring musical artist, The Pat Metheny Interviews, is a unique gift of insights from this expressive guitarist and composer.