This most popular jazz guitarist will be appearing for the third time at the Montréal Festival. One might say that Pat Metheny's participation in the Montréal Festival has made of him what Gillespie has become to the Nice Festival and what Dexter Gordon is to the North Sea Festival, that is, both a witness and a participant in a strong evolutionary musical movement.
Pat Metheny hails from the State of Missouri, an essentially agricultural area. The first recording of his career was cut with the Gary Burton orchestra. He has studied with Attila Zoller, played with trumpet artist Ira Sullivan and watched and listened to guitarist Jim Hall, a major influence, as was Wes Montgomery. His first recording, Bright Size Life, raised some eyebrows and his latest one, Offcamp, produced a year ago, has been very successful. Critics have been skeptical because of the commercial success of Are you going with me, even though Offramp, like all of Pat's previous albums, con tains many passages which are not destined to a commercial or uninitiated audience. Pat has just cut an album with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins, music written by Ornette Coleman.
As far as the future of jazz is concerned, here is Pat's opinion: "I cannot compare myself with Wynton Marsalis as the guitar does not have the impact that the trumpet has on jazz. Marsalis has been able to incorporate in his art the stylings of Miles Davis, Gillespie and Clifford Brown whose influence on jazz has been and continues to be great significance. They were forerunners of the art whereas Charles Christian, jim Hall and Wes Montgomery, as great as they are, have never revolutionized the history of jazz."
Who knows, maybe Pat Metheny may lead the next revolution!