The Friday Morning Listen: Pat Metheny – Orchestrion (2010)

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by Mark Saleski


The sun is setting earlier, the nights are already much longer, and it’s sorta dark when we get up in the morning. This is probably the last weekend for decent foliage-viewing, marking what we all know is coming: winter. The snow will fly, the storm windows will be snapped shut, and we’ll hunker down for the next several months.

Yes, it’s the perfect time to take a vacation! A cruise? Warmer weather? Sun worship?!

Screw that!

We’re going north, as we always do. The coast of Maine. In truth, this is something we would probably do even in the dead of winter (though in that case, coastal Maine is often warmer than where we live). Warm weather just isn’t something we crave. Oh sure, when spring comes it’s a lovely thing. But that is different than a cruise to a sunny tropical location. We are not sun people, we are book people. Give us a stack of books, some nice music, and endless gleaming light and we are happy people. It’s our favorite way of decompressing. Somebody should pay us to do it, we’re quite good at it!

Ahem…

Before the trip north, I will be shooting out to upstate New York to visit some old, dear friends and to attend a Pat Metheny concert. Me and my friend Gene will be experiencing the Binghamton date on Metheny’s Orchestrion tour. “Experiencing” is the key word here. Check out some reviews of the album and you will discover that Pat has put together something entirely original. I often sneer at new technology but it this case I can’t help but love the combination of old ideas (the orchestrion itself – a mechanized orchestra) and new technologies. I can’t wait to see what Metheny can do with this beast in a live setting, especially on the improvised pieces.

So yes, there’s a lot to look forward to: the conversation, music, bookshops, music, coffee, food, music, a fresh pad of paper and a sharp pencil, music, music, music, music…

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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