The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pat Metheny and Saint Amant Grangeneuve

Pat Metheny has long been one of my favorite guitarists. His style incorporates elements of progressive and contemporary jazz, post-bop, Latin jazz, and jazz-fusion. He spends considerable time in Brazil and the influence of its music shows in many of his compositions as well as his 3 gold albumns and 19 Grammy awards.

Born and raised in Lee’s Summit, MO, a suburb of Kansas City, Metheny won a Down Beat scholarship at the age of 15 to a one week Jazz Camp where guitarist Attila Zoller took him under his wing. For a short time he attended the University of Miami and took a teaching position that led to another teaching opportunity at the Berklee College of music and a gig with vibraphonist Gary Burton.

His first major solo album, Bright Side Life was recorded with Jaco Pastorius on bass and drummer Bob Moses. In 1977, he met keyboardist Lyle Mays and began a songwriting/playing collaboration that is still alive today. Besides his work with the Pat Metheny Band, his outside collaborations include some of the biggest names in music.

Most of the compositions I’ve selected feature his acoustic work. His acoustic guitars are made by Canadian Luthier Linda Manzer. Check out the 42-string Pikasso guitar he uses on the acoustic version of “Are You Going With Me.” Manzer said it was a bear to make because the bracing of the top had to be super strong to stand up to all the string tension without losing the tone she sought.

Metheny’s picking technique is somewhat unique. He uses the rounded edge of the pick instead of the point, a practice that help give him his incredible tone. If you’ve never heard his work, I think you’re going to love it.

That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be:

It’s Superbowl weekend and more food will be consumed than any day of the year except Thanksgiving. I’m not sure of the nutritional value of it, since it consists mostly of chips, dips, and chicken wings, although I hear there’s a shortage of the latter. So, with a super guitarist, I recommend trying a bottle of one of my favorite wines, namely the 2010 Saint-Amant Grangeneuve Beaumes-du-Venise ($17.00). It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Viognier with a touch of Carignan.

In the glass its aroma is filled with tart cherries, blackberries, vanilla, and a touch of nutmeg. The palate is reminiscent of a lighter bodied Syrah with blackberry, raspberry, and black pepper. I lay this one in by the case and at $17.00 a bottle, you can’t go wrong. Enjoy the music of one of the premier guitarists on the scene today and toast your favorite team with a dynamite wine.


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