827 133-2 Bright Size Life
Produced by Manfred Eicher
Released on 1976
US JAZZ CHART POSITION #28
Find it at GEMM
827 133-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 1.0: A BRIGHT FUTURE. Pat Metheny’s debut features him in a trio setting with drummer Bob Moses (who played with Pat in Gary Burton’s band) and then-unknown bassist Jaco Pastorius. Burton provides the letter of introduction and Metheny then proceeds to dazzle in his debut with seven original compositions and a swinging closer from Ornette Coleman. The opening title track gets the album off to a racing start with Metheny’s graceful, fluid soloing and a solid melody. Despite several titular references to his Midwestern roots, only one track (“Omaha Celebration”) points to the Americana jazz of later works. Instead, the songs tend toward the iciness of his next album (it was recorded in Germany rather than Norway) or a warm, fluid style that dances with glee. Moses and Pastorius prove to be the perfect dance partners, shifting busily beneath the complex and sometimes obfuscated melodies (e.g., “Missouri Uncompromised”). Paco gets a chance to showcase his signature fretless bass sound on several tracks (“Sirabhorn” may be the best of these) while Moses shines on “Unquity Road.” The real star, of course, is Metheny, who quickly establishes himself as the new kid in the Jim Hall school of jazz guitar. Although the technical execution of Metheny and Pastorius would improve with time, it’s clear on Bright Size Life that both are destined for great things. Fans of the pair will find this disc nigh irresistible and be rewarded for their curiosity. Later albums from Metheny may shine brighter, but Bright Size Life presents an alignment of stars that cannot be easily ignored.

TRACK LISTING

  1. BRIGHT SIZE LIFE    4:43
  2. SIRABHORN    5:25
  3. UNITY VILLAGE    3:38
  4. MISSOURI UNCOMPROMISED    4:13
  5. MIDWESTERN NIGHTS DREAM    5:58
  6. UNQUITY ROAD    3:33
  7. OMAHA CELEBRATION    4:16
  8. ROUND TRIP/BROADWAY BLUES    (Ornette Coleman)    4:58

    All composed by Pat Metheny unless noted

CREDITS

PAT METHENY -- 6-string guitar, electric 12-string guitar
BOB MOSES -- drums
JACO PASTORIUS -- bass
Martin Wieland -- engineer
Rainer Kiedrowski -- cover photo
Roberto Masotti -- liner photo
Dieter Bonhorst -- layout

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1976 ECM LP ECM-1-1073  
UK/GER 1976 ECM LP ECM-1073  
JPN 1976 ECM/Trio LP PAP-9043  
US   ECM CD 827 133-2  
JPN   Universal CD UCCU-5204  
JPN October 8, 2008 ECM CD UCCE-9167 SHMCD remaster

 

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