Jazz guitar visionary Metheny is so admired he gets other people to perform his music. Road To The Sun features works performed by Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Vieaux performs a four-movement guitar suite for solo guitar titled “Four Paths Of Light.” The next composition is in six movements titled “Road To The Sun,” performed by the award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. It’s lyrical guitar at its finest, as Vieaux and the Quartet interpret Metheny’s ideas in service of passionate storytelling.
Affecting, articulate, and stunning, Vieaux’s feel on the classical guitar is humbling. Metheny’s compositions envelop the listener in idyllic beauty. The album’s second-half benefits from different production in a group setting. Pick scrapes and seamless harmonic movement offset lilting melodies and lush counterpoint. Metheny’s writing style shines throughout – moody, wistful, transcendental, and joyous. It’s a triumph of the nylon-string guitar.
Finally picking up his own guitar, Metheny performs the exquisite final track “Arvo Pärt: Für Alina,” written by Estonian composer Pärt and arranged for Metheny’s 42-string Pikasso guitar. Together, these compositions and performances reinforce the idea that Pat Metheny remains one of America’s most meaningful jazz artists.
This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.