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Beyond the Missouri Sky

2 Ratings: 5.0
Folk jazz with a heart

Beyond the Missouri Sky, A cd with Pat Metheny - Guitar and Charlie Haden - Bass.Published in 1997 by verve.  Tracks:  1. Waltz For Ruth                        4:28    2. Our Spanish Love Song         5:42      3. Message … see full wiki

1 review about Beyond the Missouri Sky

Jazz giants playing beautiful music

  • Jun 15, 2009
  • by
I've written reviews on some weird writings, so I thought perhaps I could come back to earth and write about some simple emotional music for a change.  For those of you who pay no attention to jazz, Pat Matheny is probably the most melodic of jazz guitarists.  Even when he's playing with blazing speed, his solos are singable and full of emotion.  Charlie Haden is one of the finest bass players in jazz.  He is worked in free jazz with Ornette Coleman and he has also worked with more traditional jazz musicians as well.  Neither is new to the jazz world and frankly, neither is really young, either.  Perhaps that's why they both decided to do this CD.  Both are from Missouri and both grew up with the great country/western and folk tradition of the midwest and farm country.  Even when they are playing the most far out jazz, they maintain their wonderful melodic sense.  For this CD, only the two play.  Yes, there are overdubs.  Matheny plays both rhythm and lead guitar as well as some keyboard accompaniment as well.  That does not detract from the overall performance.  It's the music.  In addition to some originals, they also do beautifully emotional versions of the old Roy Acuff song "The Precious Jewel", the traditional folk song "He's Gone Away" and a literally heart wrenching performance of the lovely Jim Webb song "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" made famous by Judy Collins.  The entire CD is wonderful, but I think perhaps the last piece tells the story best.  It's called "Spiritual" and it was written by Charlie's 17 year old son, Josh Haden.  Again, melodic, emotionally compelling and so sweet to listen to.  If you are a jazz fan, you HAVE to have this CD.  If you are a folk or country fan, you have to hear what two great jazz musicians, playing without competitiveness or trying to show off can do with great country or folk songs.  If you love melodic and emotionally compelling music, you also have to hear this CD.  No artifice, no faking, no "I'm so great" solos, just two guys reliving their own pasts and telling us all about it with tears, smiles and warmth.  Try it, you will like it.

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June 19, 2009
For the past few weeks my speakers have been out--probably due to my cat Fred's last adventure back there. So I can't listen to much of anything right now. I hope to get that fixed in a few weeks after my son in law gets back from Mexico and then gets his practice caught up to date. I'm not a jazz fan but the names are very familiar to me, especially Metheny.
June 19, 2009
This is jazz, but it's more like folk jazz than what we usually think of as jazz. It's really pleasant. I do have a friend who is a serious jazz fan, and he doesn't like this CD because it's "too quiet and restful". To me, it's still very challenging because of the very simply folk like solos that Matheny plays. I think perhaps a non jazz fan would enjoy this more than a serious jazz fan. If you do get to hear it, let me know what you think.
June 19, 2009
Maybe its the folk link that's familiar to me--like the tie to Joni Mitchell etc.
June 19, 2009
Don't know whether you are old enough, but Belafonte made some really nice folk style albums in the 50s and 60s. He's Gone Away is one of his that's on this CD. If you haven't heard Jimmy Webb's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, you have missed something very special. A really beautiful song and really well played on this CD. There are some jazz moments, but it's primarily just very sweet music
June 20, 2009
More than old enough. In fact there's a lot of science fiction titles that have a similar title.
June 15, 2009
Thanks for a good review of a fantastic disk, I bought this in 1997 and it is still my favorite Metheny disk.
June 16, 2009
Matheny, like most jazz guitarists, loves to show off his prodigious technique. On this CD, he uses very little of that technique and instead relies on warm lines and simple folk-like phrasing. It's so unusual that it is really wonderful to listen to. Haden, of course, is always great. Thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it.
June 15, 2009
Thanks for the review! I really enjoy jazz, I used to listen to Pat Matheny a lot when I was in high school. I'm all for emotional music :) If you get a chance to put some info (tracks for example) about it in the wiki it would be very helpful! Thanks!
June 16, 2009
EMama, I'm sorry. I can't figure out how to use the wiki, or put the pictures beside the review. I'm sorry. Tracks are mostly originals, except for the tracks I mentioned. Both Matheny and Haden compose as well as play. I'm sorry I can't do as you ask. I would love to, but I really don't know how.
June 17, 2009
Oh, don't worry, no pressure. It took me a while to figure it all out, and I could be your daughter (age wise I mean)! I'll give you a hand with it and I can put in those tracks. You can always check out the FAQ if you need tips on how to do something or just send me a message (just hover over my photo and then click on the little envelope). Thanks so much for all your input and truly unique reviews!
June 18, 2009
Emama, thanks very much. I do still need help with this computer thing, but I do think I'm improving.
June 15, 2009
Thanks so much for this.....quite educational for me. I'm a "nut" about music, eclectic really and collect everything from avant gard to the classics to the hits of the 30s and 40s. I love jazz (live in St. Louis) and will definitely check into Pat Matheny.
June 15, 2009
Thanks for your comment. I hope it helped.
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