Gig Alert: Pat Metheny at the Nokia Theatre Tonight

Acclaimed jazz guitarist Pat Metheny makes a stop in North Texas this evening at Grand Prairie's Nokia Theater. Out on the road supporting his recently released effort Orchestrion, Metheny is capable of taking any particular show in any number of directions.

Renowned both for his solo and ensemble pieces, Metheny has created a daring and daunting discography (49 releases to date) that encompasses everything from free jazz to feedback to rock and folk.

Metheny's earliest work (released in the mid '70s) as part of the Pat Metheny Group was often criticized for its extreme tastefulness as Metheny's smooth guitar licks painted him as the next generation's Wes Montgomery. Yet, by 1985, Metheny's horizons had broadened significantly. That year, he released Song X, a noisy and fitful collaboration with Ornette Coleman.

Since then, Metheny has bounced between the two extremes, making stylishly smooth records that sold well and experimental efforts that still drew kudos from the faithful.

Anyhow, Pat Metheny is one of the few guitar legends who is flashy without being a douche--he's not afraid of showing a little restraint amidst all the fret pyrotechnics. But Metheny's true artistry lies in his ability to keep an audience guessing.

Tonight, I am sure he will do just that.

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