Where should I start with Pat Metheny?

After watching Fandango a while ago I went out and got As Falls Witchita so Falls Witchita Falls. Tracks 2, 3 and 4 are my favorites (Ozark, September 15th, It’s for you). Does anyone have any suggestions to which CD of his I should buy next? Does he have a “greatest hits” CD or should I take each CD as a whole?


Methany divides his career into his electric albums, usually with the Pat Methany Group including Lyle Mays, and a variety of other styles, often acoustic and more traditional jazz. If you just want the Pat Methany Group, as with As Falls Wichita so Falls Wichita Falls, you need to watch out for what he’s playing and who’s on the album.

That said, I’d recommend Still Life (Talking). “Last Train Home” may be the best song in jazz since Coltrane’s “Favorite Things.”

Agree on Still Life (Talking) and I’d also add First Circle.

“Bright Size Life” is his first recording and gets great reviews, but I’m not sure it is representative of his other body of work. (I don’t have it.)

I’d also have to recommend Still Life (Talking).

Well, I’d have to recommend “The Falcon and the Snowman” original soundtrack album because of the David Bowie track, but since that’s actually the only Pat Metheny song I know, I’m probably not the person to ask.

I wouldn’t go that far, but “Last Train Home” is a very beautiful song on a very strong album.

Somewhat more on the roots/folklore tip, I love Metheny’s duet album with Charlie Haden, “Beyond the Missouri Sky.”

The First Circle is one of my favorites as well. I dare you to listen to it and not feel like you’ve been transported somewhere. You really need the almost lullaby-like* If I Could* after it just to recover.

Start with seeing him live. I saw him in '78 or ‘79, again in the 80’s with Nano Vasconcelos, and again in the early 90’s. Every time he rocked. So much different than his albums, which have this sort of behind a screen sheen to them. In concert the veil drops and there’s just his incredible focus and energy. And the back of Lyle Mays’ hairy head. At least used to be…

Anyway I thought his most accessible album early on was Pat Metheny Group with Phase Dance and San Lorenzo. Or maybe his most crossover album since it put the hooks in me, and I was more of a prog-rocker back then.

There’s the Pat Metheny podcast, which is pretty cool.

Metheny is one of the few artists of whom I’ve never said a) his experimentation was a total failure that will alienate his audience nor b) he’s getting stale because he’s doing the same thing as before. Always innovative, and always coming from a sincere place.

The Pat Metheny Group has 2 live albums, Travels and The Road To You; you can’t go wrong with either one for starters.

As to Still Life (Talking), Last Train Home is good, but is not even the best song on the CD. That honor goes to Minuano (Six Eight).

Last time I checked, there were quite a few Pat Metheny vids on Youtube. Why not sample to see what you like?