Day Trip, along with its companion live EP, Tokyo Day Trip, finds guitarist Pat Metheny returning to a trio format with a new lineup, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Antonio Sanchez. McBride, Rolling Stone’s “Hot Jazz Artist” in 1992, has worked with a who’s who of jazz greats - Freddie Hubbard, Ray Brown, Pat Martino, and George Duke, to name but a few. Antonio Sanchez is no slouch either, having performed with the likes of Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, Joshua Redman, John Patitucci, David Sanchez, Paquito D'Rivera, Charlie Haden, and Toots Thielmans. Sanchez is also part of Metheny’s newer quartet, along with Gary Burton and Steve Swallow.
I ran onto both of these titles in Kev’s Decibel Decisions list - a pleasing discovery, indeed. Day Trip is strait forward traditional trio work, recorded in New York on a single day in October, 2005. Smooth and innovative... polished, but creatively edgy. The session runs Metheny’s usual gamut of styles, from acoustic ballads to prog-laced electric fusion. Standouts for me are “The Red One” and Calvin’s Keys,” but there’s not a throwaway in the bunch - a very satisfying journey.
And… if the studio session leaves you wishing for more, there’s a live companion EP, actually recorded at the end of 2004 in Tokyo prior to the studio session. Like its counterpart, there are a couple of lovely acoustic ballads, some straight-forward fusion (imagine Metheny meets Crimson in Thrak-land) and some inspired material more reminiscent of his PMG work. Again, well worth the time.