This is the fifth on my "Great Moments in Music" series. I'm attempting to pick music that are different in style, from different artists (both compositionally and performing-wise), and from recent by different time periods.
This particular music number is titled, "Finding and Believing
" by Pat Metheny, from his Secret Story
album. It's a jazz fusion piece, fusing together modern pop-jazz, and (I believe) a style of music, or sounds representing musical instruments, from Cambodia. In making the recorded version of this album, Pat Metheny used singers and an orchestra from the country of Cambodia. What impresses me about this piece is how Pat Metheny is able to successfully blend (or fuse) the general sound of "non-western" music to the more recognizable sound of modern pop-jazz. There is really no better description to this piece other than pop jazz-fusion at its finest. I call it "pop" jazz-fusion because, without a doubt, the musicians are playing "in-side" the chordal-scale structures of the piece. This would be in contrast to the more "out-side" or dissonant chord/scale structures found in styles of jazz-greats like John Coltraine and others of his genre of jazz. It's the melding of styles, the orchestration & instrumentation, the brilliantly sparse use of vocals, the odd rhythms, and clever use of repetitive themes, as found in "Finding and Believing
", that makes this piece "sound" "complex". I love this piece. Gosh, I wish I wrote it! (I think I have composer's envy! LOL!)
It was a JOY to find a video-taped LIVE version of "Finding and Believing
" (and other tracks) from this particular album. Don't be fooled by what you hear when you see the two guys sing or chant the "melodies". They must be singing to a pre-recorded sound track of what is found on the original album. The similarities in sound are too obvious. But it's fun watching them sing and chant! This is especially true around 1:24 into the music! LOL! (I'm listening to this piece as I type. LOL!) I LOVE the phrasing to the vocals which is in contrast to the repetitive orchestration/arrangement playing underneath the singing/chanting. Not only does it wonderfully add to the complexity of the number, it brilliantly show-cases the blending of styles of music.
I've seen Pat Metheny perform twice in my life time. The first time was when I lived in Boston during my own music-college years (over 30+ years ago). It was an outside concert that a good friend and I was able to attend for free! The second time was about 15 or 20 years ago with my loving wife, Amy. He was performing at a small jazz venue in Schenectady, NY. We both sat, literally, just a few feet away from where Pat Metheny was performing! It was so cool watching him play "up close and personal"! I'll be seeing him a third time later this month! For my birthday, Amy just told me that she purchased tickets to see Pat Metheny at Proctors which is also located in Schenectady, NY. How cool is THAT!!
I hope you enjoy this piece. It's about 10 minutes long. It deserves a few "listens" to get the brilliant simplicity and complexity of this piece. Note that in the beginning the piece is in 7/4 time, around mid-way it goes into a more 6/4 time. Cool, huh? Enjoy!