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Tap: The Book of Angels, Vol. 20

23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 21, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Ever curious, courageous and endlessly creative, virtuoso guitarist and musical mastermind Pat Metheny takes on John ZornÕs Masada songbook to create
some of the most soulful and adventurous sounds yet heard in the Book of Angels series. Turn up the volume and revel in the breadth of imagination in these remarkable arrangements featuring Pat on a huge arsenal of instruments, and the powerful Antonio Sanchez on drums. Pat Metheny continues to surprise and
experiment with new musical frontiers well into the 21st century. Co-produced with Nonesuch Records, this is a match made in HeavenÑessential!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tzadik
  • ASIN: B00BY8DC7U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,494 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Delite Rancher VINE VOICE on May 23, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Tap" is a welcome addition to the Book of Angels. While the album sounds like it was recorded with a full group, it is actually a duo effort with drummer Antonio Sanchez. The quartet sounding result is a product of Pat Metheny's studio wizardry as he plays over a dozen instruments. Along these lines, the album kicks off with 'Mastema' which introduces Metheny's layering technique. With a somewhat kitschy sound, the song features a sitar guitar. The mood relaxes for 'Albim,' which shows a gentler, acoustic side of this project. Things kick into high gear for 'Tharsis.' This piece is a celebration of the synthesizers of the 1980s. Indeed, it reminisces King Crimson albums like "Beat." Tap's golden highlight is 'Sariel.' While much of "Tap" sounds more like a Metheny effort than a Zorn project, this eleven minute song is one of the most satisfying selections in the Book of Angels. It starts off with a Middle Eastern sounding acoustic melody but eventually kicks into orgiastic electric rock. The guitar work is simply amazing. The piece returns to the acoustic melody, which transitions back into rock and eventually closes with a Hendrix style avant-meltdown. Given the scope and size of the song, it is remarkable that 'Sariel' is only performed by two musicians. 'Phanuel' is a ten minute spacey acoustic song. The final offering is 'Hurmiz,' which is pure avant-garde. On this song, Metheny actually plays the piano. While not always compelling, all of the music played on "Tap" is interesting. In the end, this is a successful collaboration between Tzadik and one of the other great record labels of our time, Nonesuch. Thanks to John Zorn, this Pat Metheny album is something you'll want to tap.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By snowbound on May 21, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Allow me to begin by saying that I am a HUGE Metheny fan and have every single recording by Pat as both a leader as well as a sideman and have been listening to him for 30 years now.

I love his versatility and his ability to excel in all of the different styles that he plays. Quite simply, there is no other living musician on the planet right now that embodies what Metheny is able to produce in terms of his artistic depth in any capacity.

"Tap" is no exception. This is sheer brilliance from start to finish. The use of acoustic instruments married with modern day guitar synthesizer and percussion throughout is pure genius. Pat has once again proven that he can record any style of music that he chooses and not only do it well but do it with respect.

Pat's use of the many Jewish musical scales throughout this album is wonderful. I am not Jewish and to be honest I do not have any real knowledge of Jewish music but I am a musician and I am familiar with some of the Jewish musical scales.

There are times when this reminds of me of what would happen if Pat joined King Crimson. There are several moments throughout when Pat uses a distorted electric guitar tone and his solos have a very angular disjointed and atonal approach but all done in a very profound musical way.

At times I hear hints of Metheny's playing on the Gary Thomas-"Till We Have Faces" CD, especially when he plays with a distorted electric guitar tone.

If you are a fan of Metheny's music you simply MUST buy this CD!! There may be some people who will not like every song but I can promise you that there is something here for everyone.

Thanks Pat!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nycademon on June 3, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm getting the impression that there are at least a few Pat Metheny fans who are under the impression that this is a Pat Metheny album, i.e., composed and performed by Pat Metheny. That's only half right, John Zorn composed the music, and this album is actually volume 20 of a series of albums, all composed by John Zorn, but performed by various artists, including Marc Ribot, Secret Chiefs 3, Medeski Martin & Wood, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, Bar Kokhba, Jamie Saft . . . and now Pat Metheny.

That said, Pat had a lot of latitude here, and I really like what he did. The album starts out with a very (to me, at least) recognizable Metheny approach, and the first couple songs wouldn't be out of place on any number of his albums. But as the album progresses, he takes the music from Metheny-jazz to avant-garde. The last couple tracks would fit in well with much of Zorn's more "difficult" work. My guess is that most if not all Metheny fans would really like the beginning of the album, but that many would fall by the wayside as the album progresses.

Some John Zorn fans, on the other hand, might find the first track or two a bit tame. I think the whole album is wonderful, Metheny's playing is top notch, and I have a lot of respect for the way he creates a spectrum . . . a connection . . . between Metheny style jazz and Zorn style avant-garde. This is a great album, but it may well take you out of your comfort zone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Listener on May 29, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was a fool to think I knew what to expect. Having regularly listened to Zorn and Metheny over the past thirty years, the idea of these two collaborating was in itself a pleasant surprise. What became an even bigger surprise, in the best possible terms, was the outcome of that collaboration. It became something more than "Metheny plays Zorn," which could no doubt have been lovely, but may have visited territory already populated by Ribot, Frisell, and Sparks. This became an experience where I kept forgetting I was listening to "Pat Metheny" as much I kept forgetting I was listening to "John Zorn." The music would remind me of its creators with telltale Book of Angels melodies or guitar sounds, but mostly I was struck by how different this was from other music made by either Metheny or Zorn.

On the other hand, a survey of Zorn's and Metheny's creative output will make "Tap" seem almost inevitable: much like Zorn juxtaposes and interpenetrates various musical genres within other compositions and groups he has led, "First Circle," "Electric Counterpoint," and "Zero Tolerance for Silence" all similarly coexist and inform one another. "Tap," "Pat" backwards, is a re-visioning of Pat Metheny's music, through the lens of John Zorn's music, and vice-versa. On their own merits, the musical pleasures of this album are wide and deep. Part of its wonder, though, is the degree to which Zorn and Metheny, both uncompromising composers and performers, created a statement that not only unified their musical languages, but advanced them.
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Tap: The Book of Angels, Vol. 20
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