DVD Review — Pat Metheny Group: Imaginary Day Live

By  Conrad L. Stinnett

This 1998 concert film features a live performance of the 1997 Grammy Award winning Imaginary Day album at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Calif. The show begins with Metheney taking the stage, with loud applause form the audience, and opening with the acoustic solo number “Into the Dream.”

He is then joined by the rest of the band, including keyboardist Lyle Mays and percussionist Jeff Haynes, on “Follow Me.” Sometimes the music played here moves into solid traditional jazz territory, as in the case of “A Story Within a Story” and “The Heat of the Day.” Other times, the sound reflects various world music influences, such as the Celtic-tinged “The Awakening” and the Latin-fused “Minuano.” Whether frenzied or free flowing, the band seamlessly manages the transitions with ease.

Metheny plays some tremendously complicated solos here, but makes it look effortless and it seems like he’s having the time of his life. The Dolby/DTS 5.1 sound totally enhances the at-home concert experience.

The video direction, courtesy of bassist Steve Rodby, may very well be the DVD’s weak link, though the sound quality and performances more than make up for the relatively standard shots, which, at times, give the film an almost home-movie feel. Still, this is an excellent concert and a great way to experience a fantastic group of players laying down a set of some of the best modern jazz around.

Click here to check out the latest price guides from Goldmine

Leave a Reply