Close Enough for Love

Mike Metheny

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Close Enough for Love Review

by Judith Schlesinger

This is Mike Metheny's sixth release as a leader, here shepherding a quintet of fine Kansas City musicians. Several elements loft this CD above the pack: Metheny's purely beautiful flugelhorn playing, the superb tenor sax and flute work of Bill Caldwell on two tracks, and the concept of tracing the trajectory of a love from its first joy (the jaunty, EVI-led bossa "Pretty" and the boppish "Yes, I've Met Miss Jones") to its cynical, satirical ending ("The Greatest Love of All," a [mercifully] brief explication by Metheny's excruciatingly funny "clarinet d'amore"). It's delicious to relax into Metheny's warm tone and clean, lyrical approach to the title tune, and that sadder-but-wiser classic, "My Foolish Heart." His flugelhorn also floats soulfully over two bossas: Lalo Schifrin's soundtrack for The Fox and his own "Ta-Ta for Now," where brother Pat Metheny blends in his signature lonesome-prairie guitar sound. Other highlights include Metheny's well-named "Attitude Blues," with great work by bassist Bob Bowman, and Metheny's atmospheric piano debut on his haunting "Union Hill." Pianist Paul Smith and drummer Todd Strait are also excellent throughout. On this CD, Mike Metheny has produced a modern song cycle: eclectic, cohesive, and very enjoyable.

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