Pat Metheny (3 stars)

Pat Metheny

Secret Story (Nonesuch)


When Secret Story first came out in 1992, it marked something of a departure in the guitarist’s work. Reaction to it may well depend on what it is about that work that attracts you – the smooth fusioneer or the incisive improviser. This disc definitely falls into the first category, and musters the biggest cast on any of his albums, including an orchestra alongside jazz luminaries like Charlie Haden, Nana Vasconcelos, Gil Goldstein, Toots Thielemans and his main man from the Pat Metheny Group, Lyle Mays.

The results are a mixed bag, and often sound closer to soundtrack music than anything else. As ever, though, there is some excellent guitar work on offer amid the lush orchestrations. If you bought it first time, the bait in this remastered reissue is a second CD with five previously unreleased tracks, but at under 17 minutes long, it’s not a huge incentive to part with your cash again.

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