Beyond The Missouri Sky 2LP

1997 Verve/Polygram

This subtle, sublime collaboration finds bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Pat Metheny crafting bejeweled chamber duets that transcend genre. With their shared Missouri lineage as a thematic touchstone, Haden and Metheny forge a lyrical, mostly acoustic style at once intimate and expansive. Both pare their playing to a Zen-like economy, focusing on a purity of tone, clarity of harmony, and counterpoint to achieve a tender lyricism.

Metheny's acoustic steel-string and classical guitars predominate, but he also applies discreet overdubs (including some delicate synthesizer and keyboard textures) to sculpt orchestral detail. Haden, as always, is both a generous foil and a deft melodist on his own, moving easily into his instrument's upper register as he twines through Metheny's lines. The set's emotional coherence is particularly satisfying in light of the material, which spans Ennio Morricone ("Cinema Paradiso"), Henry Mancini ("Two for the Road"), Jim Webb ("The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"), and Roy Acuff ("The Precious Jewel") as well as affecting originals by both leaders. And giving the project a sense of closure, while commenting obliquely on the generational dialogue it represents, is the luminous "Spiritual" (composed by Haden's son, Josh), an instrumental prayer that exemplifies the balance of concision and deep emotion at the heart of this exquisite triumph. --Sam Sutherland

Availability: Out of stock


Track Listing

Side A:

  1. Waltz For Ruth
  2. Our Spanish Love Song
  3. Message To A Friend

Side B:

  1. Two For The Road
  2. First Song
  3. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
  4. Precious Jewel

Side C:

  1. He's Gone Away
  2. The Moon Song
  3. Tears Of Rain

Side D:

  1. Cinema Paradiso (Love Theme)
  2. Cinema Paradiso (Main Theme)
  3. Spiritual