Happy birthday, Pat Metheny

Best known for his numerous Jazz Fusion recordings, guitarist Pat Metheny broke from the genre with 1994’s dissonant and clangorous, Zero Tolerance For Silence. The album was entirely solo Metheny, just layers of overdubbed guitars, with few discernible attempts at melody and structure. Needless to say, the resultant outcry among Metheny’s fan base was akin to Lou Reed’s when he released his experimental Metal Machine Music 2LP, some combination of disgust, confusion, and horror. To this day, fans still want Metheny to disown the record. Granted, the album does sound more like a No Wave or Keiji Haino record than one from a man whose name was synonymous with Fusion, thereby guaranteeing extreme reactions. The flipside of that coin was that, all of a sudden, Metheny gained relevance in circles which had largely ignored his more palatable material. Thurston Moore, himself no stranger to criticism for his unconventional guitar technique, had this to say about ZTFS, ““…THE most radical recording of this decade…a new milestone in electric guitar music…searing, soaring, twisted shards of action guitar/thought process. An incendiary work by an unpredictable master, a challenge to the challengers…” . High praise, indeed.


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