Thanks so much for the piece on Pat Metheny. I’m always interested in what he has to say about the state of the instrument, the art form, and his other life views. I caught him recently at an intimate setting in New Jersey, during a symposium that Christian McBride hosted. They played maybe three tunes, but Pat’s views and mindset were so intriguing that I was as riveted as I would have been had they played for hours. I also wanted to commend you on the great pictures you uncovered for the piece. One thing I wanted to point out was that in the photo on page 82, where Pat is supposedly holding an Ibanez PM20, he is actually sporting a prototype, modified PM35 (due out soon) with 22 frets, a thinner body, and a mahogany neck. His prized PM20 has an ebony tailpiece, 20 frets, and a maple neck, as seen in the shots on the contents page and the Austin City Limits picture on page 94.
Joe Capozio VIA INTERNET
I just finished the Pat Metheny interview, and some of his comments really surprised me. I always thought of jazz players as being open-minded and adaptable, but he seems very closed-minded and stuck in the past. To suggest that someone isn’t really a player unless they can read standard notation is just boneheaded. The past century has been replete with great musicians who didn’t/don’t read. The last I checked, music was about sound, and not lines and dots written on a page. Further, to imply that guitar tablature is somehow less of a musical notation device because it wasn’t used in medieval Europe is just stupid. Mr. Metheny needs to learn that new things can be just as valid as old ones, and sometimes (as is the case with tab), even better.
Tony Vega VIA INTERNET
You know, I’m 46 years old, and I have never read an article on or an interview with Pat Metheny— I’m not even sure that I have ever heard his music—but I now know not to bring up Kenny G.
Roger Foster VIA INTERNET
APRIL IN SEPTEMBER
Thanks for the article about April Lawton in the September issue. Her work with Ramatam was proof that guitar is not necessarily a “guy thing.” After reading about her passing, I had to break out the CD copies and listen to her fire-breathing solos once again. After that, I dug out the old LP for a better picture of her Les Paul. Took me right back to the ’70s. Do you smell something burning? I think it’s that guitar.
Marvin Tom TULSA, OK
I was shocked and disappointed by the sexist tone of Tim Noe’s April Lawton piece (September 2008). Is it really necessary to write, “Some believed Lawton was so good that she couldn’t possibly be a woman.”? Noe’s comments turned what should have been a tribute to this incredible woman into a gossipy forum for speculating on Lawton’s true gender. I’m sure Jimi Hendrix would have been the first to say that neither he nor males corner the market on electric guitar virtuosity.
Lane Gallichio BOCA RATON, FL
CROWES OF A FEATHER
Thank you so much for the great article on the Black Crowes and their new record. Warpaint is a stunning album with some well-written and thought-out songs. Rich Robinson and Luther Dickinson seem to really meld with each other stylistically, and both are very solid players. It is nice to hear about players who trace their roots back to the blues in the purest sense, and Rich and Luther both have that sensibility. Plus, they’re able to make their music sound fresh. As a player who is just now delving into the realm of slide and lapsteel playing, hearing the record and then reading the article gave me some fresh insight and a whole lot of inspiration.
Skip Bruber ST. PAUL, MN
HERRING IS BELIEVING
I have been affected by “borderline syndrome” since I was a teen: Every time I picked up the guitar, I said to myself, “You’re too loud to play jazz, and too smooth to play blues.” But, thanks to the incredible Jimmy Herring Master Class in your July issue, the problem has disappeared. He is an unbelievable genius, and I’ve been completely blown away by his phrasing. Now I can play strange modal stuff on “Whipping Post” and soulful bluesy licks on “So What,” and be proud doing it. Thanks!
Mario Evangelista VIA INTERNET
In the Joe Satriani lesson in the September issue, to reflect the Ionian mode discussed, the tablature number beneath the word “four” in Example 2 should have been a “3.” While we regret mistakenly putting a “4” there, it does have a cool Lydian sound, don’t you think?