Before Watercolors digs back into introspection (which I will get back to next week) we have River Quay, extending what appears to be the introduction of the sound of the Pat Metheny Group. The center of gravity of “River Quay” is the hook spelled out in that very compact chorus.
Although Pat is fond of saying that all of the Metheny group music feels like it’s a part of one long song, my ear wants to categorize along the lines of “main contributor” vs. “decoration.” While this seems like an arbitrary distinction to make, it’s hard to escape the feeling that some musical constructs seem to have more of an inevitability than others. The chorus of this composition, though quite simple, has that weight — as though Metheny’s music could not have existed without this short collection of phrases.
It used to really bother me when I’d hear parts of Pat’s music used as the backdrop to local community service announcements on the television. Looking back at those moments, they now feel like yet another part of that group song…or at least my version of it.