After Pat Metheny's successful collaboration with pianist Brad Mehldau (2007's Metheny/Mehldau Quartet), the versatile guitarist returns to the trio format with two renowned musicians in their own right: Philadelphian bassist Christian McBride (Chick Corea, Queen Latifah, Sting) and Mexico City-born drummer Antonio Sanchez, a fixture in the Latin jazz scene alongside Cuban saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza and many others. Day Trip contains a collection of old and new Metheny compositions rehearsed on the road and recorded during a one-day session in late 2005. On "Is This America (Katrina 2005)?," Metheny comments on the devastation of New Orleans with heartfelt notes on his acoustic guitar. "The Red One" goes more into jazz-rock territory, as Metheny makes use of various guitar effects before a surprising switch to a reggae-inflected beat halfway through that gives Sanchez a chance to showcase his chops. "When We Were Free" steers in a more bluesy direction; McBride begins with a solid bass line that sets the tone for the entire tune and offers plenty of opportunity for improvisation. The faster-paced title track reflects somewhat on the trio's rushed Brooklyn recording session. Few jazz guitarists today have had the opportunity to collaborate with as many artists as Metheny, who has recorded (and toured) with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorius and even Polish vocalist Anna Maria Jopek, with whom he performed on a wonderfully conceived live project (Upojenie, unfortunately only available in the U.S. as an import). On Day Trip, even in his fifties, Metheny shows no signs of slowing down at all.
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