Puls 19.07.01

PAT METHENY: I supert lag! ( )

Andersen, Metheny, Nilssen-Love

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...some of the very best music I’ve heard in many a year!

(Molde/Fire Flate/PULS): Mid-way through this electrifying set, which received a standing ovation at the end, Pat Metheny revealed how much he had always wanted to play with Arild Andersen. In fact, Metheny should have been the guitarist on the bassist’s now-legendary ECM “A Molde Concert” release of 1981, but touring commitments in America at the time led to Bill Frisell getting the gig (and his first appearance on ECM).

The wait, as they say, was certainly worthwhile. From the opening “Bright Size Life” and other Metheny originals like “Question And Answer” to Andersen’s “Hyperboreans” and “A Song I Used To Play”, these two master musicians meshed superby, offering the eagerly attentive full house the sort of freshly conceived and superbly played melody, harmony and rhythm that simply lifts the heart – to the altitude of Molde’s mountains and way beyond.

I don’t know if Metheny had heard Paal Nilssen-Love before. If he hadn’t, he must have had one hell of a pleasant surprise. I was very, very impressed by this young Norwegian at the Kongsberg Festival a couple of years ago: to my ears, he is easily the best thing to happen to Norwegian drumming since Jon Christensen. He has the sort of overall polyrhyhmic power that can bring Elvin Jones to mind, but with a crispness in his cross-rhythms and a wide-ranging sensitivity to matters of dynamics and textural detail that Philly Joe Jones and Ed Blackwell would have been proud of.

Although the trio had only had about an hour and a half’s rehearsal, they played with the sort of lyrical depth and rhythmic understanding that usually only comes after months of gigs, in a set that contained some of the very best music - including several very refreshing shots of the blues – that I’ve heard in many a year.

Michael Tucker

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