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Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman: Song X: Twentieth Anniversary

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When this collaboration was released 20 years ago, it was a shock to the warm, melodic sensibilities of Pat Metheny fans. In its day, Song X provoked controversy and also won several record-of-the-year awards.

It is in fact an Ornette Coleman album. All 14 tunes are his, and in this meeting of dissimilar minds, it is Metheny who comes over to Coleman’s side, not vice versa. Yet Metheny’s rich, complex guitar sonorities provide new textures and dimensions to a Coleman ensemble. Coleman, clearly stimulated, nails everything he goes for, in his best banshee bray that incites both panic and euphoria.

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