PAT METHENY — Upojenie (with Anna Maria Jopek) (review)

PAT METHENY — Upojenie (with Anna Maria Jopek) album cover Boxset / Compilation · 2008 · Vocal Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
snobb
Probably even devoted Pat Metheny fans have never heard about this album. Originally recorded in 2002 in Poland, and released in Poland and the Far East only, until 2008 it was the best kept secret from the rest of the world.

Originally considered a release by Polish diva Anna Maria Jopek, in 2008 it was reissued by Nonesuch under Pat Metheny's name. Anna Maria Jopek is an excellent Polish artist, not a very strong jazz vocalist, but a soulful singer, beautiful woman and she has strong artistic appeal. "Upojenje"("Extasy") was recorded soon after Anna met Pat Metheny at a European jazz festival. Reworking some old Metheny compositions (and adding Polish lyrics), plus some of Anna's songs and a few more modernised Polish folk songs, this album represents that rare and strange magic you very often can't describe.

After the few very first Metheny albums, I lost interest in his polished straight-ahead fusion, world tunes and easy-listening contemporary jazz albums. His rare experimental albums sounded even less interesting, yet here on this work with the Polish diva, I find what he does best: combining his tunes and nice lyrical musicianship with pop-jazz/adult-pop vocals, plus soulful Eastern European folk-fusion and melodies. On this CD Pat demonstrates the best formula I have heard from him yet.

With support from leading Polish jazz musicians (incl. pianist Leszek Mozdzer) and known world fusion percussionist Mino Cinelu, this long album sounds pleasant, but very far from being boring (the international version is even longer - it contains 3 bonus tracks, 17 songs at all).

Don't expect the usual Pat Metheny fusion from this release though - dreamy soulful jazz-influenced Eastern European songs (sounding very modern) are what you'll find here. If you like stylish jazzy adult-pop vocal songs and are interested in hearing unusual sounding classic Metheny compositions - find this album, you won't be disappointed.
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