July/August 2004

Mike Metheny
KC Potpourri
3 Valve Music

On his seventh CD, KC Potpourri, Kansas City, Missouri-based brassman Mike Metheny surrounds himself with local musicians, and they perform in a series of band configurations, large and small. Metheny demonstrates not only fine artistry but also good humor as well by opening the album with a rousing big-band take on the Flintstones theme song and then improvising on the famous theme on muted cornet. Metheny's beautiful, deeply felt performance on his younger brother Pat's poignant ballad "Always and Forever," reminds us that both brothers have the lyricism gene, and Metheny's big band provides tasteful coloration behind him.

The John Lewis composition "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West" gets a snappy, animated treatment, while on the Jobim classic "How Insensitive," Metheny's thoughtful articulation of the melody is supported by Rod Fleeman's Brazilian guitar. Metheny's rapid-fire flugelhorn runs and Kim Park's breakneck sax solo mark the energetic big-band tune "Hey Man!" and Metheny closes this fine album quietly, with a sensitive reading of the Carl Fischer-Frankie Laine standard "We'll Be Together Again."

Originally published in July/August 2004
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