Sunday, May 22, 2016

Album Review: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

The title of the new album Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny is inadequate. 

Free jazz enthusiasts might suggest that Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny on the Mountaintop is a more accurate indication of its contents.  Traditionalists with an antipathy to noisy improvisation might counter that Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny in a Dark Alley is a better appellation. 

Metheny’s playing on the project is entirely different from his contributions to Logan Richardson’s recent release Shift and the extrapolations on his latest offering The Unity Sessions

Hearing Metheny work with trumpeter Cuong Vu, bassist Stomu Takeishi and drummer Ted Poor provides a different sort of thrill.  While “Seeds of Doubt” won’t distress groove-oriented fans of the Pat Metheny Group, the epic scale of the powerful “Telescope” evokes Led Zeppelin. 

A few of the tortured sounds Metheny makes on “Acid Kiss” could be mistaken for the work of avant-garde guitarists like Marc Ribot and Nels Cline.  Metheny’s primary solo on the opening track, however, possesses the signature sound of the stupendously versatile man from Lee’s Summit. 

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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