Well-traveled Jazz Guitarist To Make Stop In Annapolis Sunday Performance By Metheny To Help Promote New Album

October 05, 1990|By Michael R. Driscoll | Michael R. Driscoll,Staff writer

Guitarist Pat Metheny, 36, travels so much he should probably have more than the two homes in Boston, Mass., and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to call his own.

"I divide my time between here and Boston," he said in a telephone call from Rio, "but I'm on the road most of the time."

One of the top names of contemporary jazz, the award-winning performer and composer for film, television, and theater will be at Maryland Hall for the Performing Arts for two shows Sunday.

FOR THE RECORD - Due to a layout error, a photograph of folk singer Tim Malchak was used Friday to illustrate a preview of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, who will appear at 7 and 10 tonight at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Tickets are $18 at the door.
Malchak will be appearing Oct. 18 at the Maryland Inn's King of France Tavern.
The public is urged to attend both concerts, in order to compare the performers' music as well as their appearances.
The Anne Arundel County Sun regrets the errors.

This concert will be Metheny's first visit to Annapolis, part of a short tour to help publicize his latest album, "Question and Answer," recorded on the Geffen label.

"I love to play in towns where I've never been before," said Metheny, "and I hope to get a chance to look around."

Another significant trail blazed by Metheny was a 1988 tour of the Soviet Union.

"It was a great time to go," he said. "Perestroika (restructuring) was just getting started. We had capacity audiences who never heard of us, and all they knew was that we were American. It was like drawing on 15,000 blank slates every night and very exciting. I loved the people there."

Normally on the road eight to 10 months a year, Metheny made light of his 1990 schedule, touring with the likes of Gary Burton, Herbie Hancock and Jack DeJohnnette. Metheny says that enjoys working for other people.

"I love to be a sideman," he said, "to just play and not worry about all that other business stuff. I just like to focus all my attention on playing."

Metheny's records reveal a variety of influences and stylings that make each of his records distinct.

He ascribes this eclecticism to the way he learned his music.

"I was lucky enough to be able to record with many different players," he said. "I like all kinds of stuff, and I listen to all kinds of things, so it's natural to reflect that in the music I play. But I try to keep the common thread of the guitar in my music."

Another common thread in Metheny's music is the Latin -- especially the Brazilian -- style of music.

"When I was about 7, the bossa nova craze hit," Metheny said. "Even at that age, the music just knocked me out. There was an immediate connection for me, even in the early days, to Brazilian jazz. Maybe that's why I feel so at home here."

He finally visited the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1980, and quickly grew to like it. "I felt comfortable here," so much so that he has owned a house in the city for the past four years."

"I can get a lot done here," he said, "Then, where I get back (to the United States), I'm ready to go on the road."

Metheny, who said he has been involved in jazz most of his life, was born in Lee's Summit, just outside Kansas City, Mo.

"I started on the trumpet when I was 8, and got into the guitar at the age of 12, when I had braces put on my teeth. Playing the trumpet was painful after that, and I had a bad sound."

Moving to the guitar proved less traumatic -- and all the more attractive due to his parents' opposition.

"Then there was a period of several weeks when I went from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to being a hard-core jazz snob, for a while listening to nothing but Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman."

Since then, he has widened his horizons to work with people like Joni Mitchell, Gary Burton, Milton Nascimento, Miroslav Vitous, Hubert Laws and Roy Haynes, to name a few.

When not touring, Metheny also composes scores for film, television and plays.

"I've done about six or seven scores," he said, including "The Search for Solutions," a nine-part PBS science series in 1979; the 1984 spy movie, "The Falcon and the Snowman," in collaboration with David Bowie and Lyle Mays; "Grandpa's Ghost," for Steven Spielberg's 1986 TV series "Amazing Stories;" "Orphans," a 1986 play produced in Chicago; and a ballet, "Adieux," presented at the 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland."

Metheny described the process as "a challenge, and a nice break from the road. Of course I haven't done too much of it lately, because it generally takes about two months, and I've been on the road. But it's something I enjoy and plan to do more of, later in life."

Metheny will perform two shows Sunday, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are $18 at the door.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.