O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
Pat Metheny only plays towards the end, a bonus track on the CD version, on a translucent Arvo Pärt piece 'Für Alina' on the famous 42-string Pikasso guitar of his. Jazz fans will be introduced for many the first time to the fabulous Los Angeles Guitar Quartet on the 6-part suite that lends its name to the overall record and beforehand in sequence to the acclaimed virtuoso classical player Jason Vieaux on the 'Four Parts of Light' suite. It is very interesting and striking hearing in Vieaux another superlative guitarist from a different discipline playing Metheny. Not a record of improvising. However, the music is written by an improviser and there is so much life in what the LAGQ do to the beautiful road-pastoral themes (Metheny's habitual style) that it scarcely matters. Listen alongside to other versions of 'Für Alina' (best of all the Alexander Malter version). The piece was written by Pärt for piano and hearing it played on guitar is very different in itself. And yet both approaches reach the same sweet spot and share a certain communion of the imagination. Suffice is to say, however, that Metheny's version is the match of Malter's given that and a huge highlight of a very fine record where the planets aligned and a meeting of minds sparkled. That's a dance. Are we dancer? On Modern. Out on 5 March
Tags: Album / EP reviews