Lee's Summit native Pat Metheny finds his way home.

Pat Metheny's new album leads back to Lee's Summit 

Lee's Summit native Pat Metheny finds his way home.

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To mix and match?

It's more than mix and match. It's actual integration. It's not arbitrary, like a casual "Oh, maybe I'll throw a little of this with a little of that." Right from the beginning, the first eight notes of [debut album] Bright Size Life are saying, "OK, you know what? This is landing on a major triad, not a dominant seventh chord." Why can't folk-type harmonies exist with this level of improvising? Right from the beginning, I've been trying to figure out a way of really going deep into the idea of inclusion. It's not as casual as mix and match. That's what I would not want it to be. What I'm looking for is a way for things to really coexist. That's what the big long record [of my work] has been about — not just this one but all of them together.

So you've come to look at your whole body of work as one album and all your shows as one concert.

Yeah, and as a tour goes on, I start to think of each gig as one song and each tour as one album. It all starts to merge in terms of time, too. That's an overarching theme for me in a lot of ways.

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