Tuesday, November 15, 2005
In searching for something new under the sun, classical artists often
re-arrange existing works for different instruments and settings. This new
disc is an example of the transcriber's art at its most alluring.
"Images of Metheny" Jason Vieaux, guitar
Virtuoso jazz guitarist Pat Metheny has always had a flair for melody to rival
Schubert and the Beatles. One wouldn't think that his long-breathed tunes (and
their contextual harmonies) could be sustained by classical guitar, but
Buffalo, N.Y., native Jason Vieaux has arranged some of Metheny's most
striking compositions for his solo instrument -- and plays them with clarion
beauty. The resulting album is an inspired masterpiece, with appeal far beyond
classical and jazz listeners to virtually anyone who loves music.
Those who don't know Metheny's recordings will be beguiled simply by the way
these pieces combine surface loveliness with emotional depth. Many tunes are
colored like rainbows; but, as with Mozart, most silver linings have their
wistful cloud. Those who do know Metheny's originals -- usually played on
electric guitar with a full band -- will find Vieaux's arrangements staggering
in the way they incorporate so many strands of these rich, often improvised
creations into a singular whole.
Recorded with the ideal sort of sumptuous clarity, such highlights as "Tell
Her You Saw Me," "Message to a Friend" and "The Bat" are poetry in motion. The
composer's imagination and the player's execution dazzle hand in hand.
-- Bradley Bambarger
© 2005 The Star Ledger
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