Pat Metheny - Orchestrion Tour

Pat Metheny
Photo: Ronaldo

Saturday, October 9th 2010, just before half past eight in the evening. Pat Metheny steps onto the stage of the sold-out Community Theater in Morristown, NJ. The stage is decorated with a Persian rug and heavy red drapes. In the background we spot a piano, two vibraphones, various small instruments, and several strange objects resembling organ pipes, pharmaceutical jars, or rocket launchers.

The setting seems rather strange, because the long-time companions of the ingenious guitarist are missing: no Antonio Sanchez on the drums, no Steve Rodby on the bass, and no Lyle Mays on the piano. Instead of the Pat Metheny Group in flesh and blood, we now see an army of machines, small hammers, and LEDs, which are activated in turn to bring the surrogate human artists to life. By the time we have listened to the obligatory solo on the 42-string guitar, just as the red curtain is lifting, the whole dimension of the enterprise Orchestrion hits home: This will be a fascinating evening full of awe and wonder.