Jazz Spectrum 91

Fritz Byers Headshot

Saturdays 9 p.m. - 12 a.m.

Hosted by Fritz Byers, "Jazz Spectrum 91" is designed as an anthology, a loose and flowing tour through the history of the music, showcasing the wondrous diversity of jazz and the virtuosity of the musicians who play it.

Playlist: August 12, 2017

The full interview between Fritz and Bill Kirchner is now streaming at the bottom of this posting. Click 'Listen' below. 


Mulgrew Miller, The Countdown, “August Afternoon”

Jon Davis, Happy Juice, “Tones for Joan’s Bones”

Karrin Allyson, Footprints, “Live is a Groove (Jordu)”


Pat Metheny, Bright SIze Life, “Round Trip / Broadway Blues”

Pat Metheny, Rejoicing, “Tears Inside”

Pat Metheny, Trio Live, “Giant Steps”


Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Parallel Realities Live, “Solar”

Von Freeman, Great Divide, “Violets for your Furs”


Julie London, The Very Best of Julie London, “Cry Me a River”

Dexter Gordon, Blows Hot and Cold, “Cry Me a River”

DInah Washington, Queen, “Cry Me a River”

Brad Mehldau, Progression: Art of the Trio, “Cry Me a River”


Ella Fitzgerald, Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie! , “Cry Me a River”

George Benson & Jack McDuff, Self-Titled, “Cry Me a River”

Charlie Mariano & Mal Waldron, Autumn Dreams, “Cry Me a River”


Pat Metheny, Unity Band, “Interval Waltz”

Pat Metheny and the Heath Brothers, All the Things You Are, “All the Things You Are”


Wadada Leo Smith, America’s National Parks, “Eileen Jackson Southern”

James Farm, James Farm, “Star Crossed”
Alan Broadbent & Irene Kral, Where is Love, “Never Let Me Go”


Wes Montgomery, Smokin’ at the HalfNote, “Unit 7”

James Moody, “I’m in the Mood for Love”

Ted Nash, The Mancini Project, “Two for the Road”

Wallace Roney, A Place in Time, “Air Dancing”


Joshua Redman & Pat Metheny, Wish, “Wish”

Pat Metheny, What’s It All About, “Alfie”

Past Playlists Microphone Listen  

Not Just Another Guitar Player from Kansas City

By Kim Kleinman, Contributing Writer

The drummer for Fast Eddie and the Juicers, the early 1970s high school rock band made up of mutual friends of Fritz and mine, had previously played in a kid’s jazz combo with Pat Metheny.  When we started to learn about this music, we trekked to Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium for a day-long jazz festival headlined by Buddy Rich and Clark Terry.  Metheny played his own set and sat in a couple of more times throughout the afternoon and evening, showing not just flash but taste and versatility.  

He came to town with Gary Burton at least once, filling the guitar chair that once belonged to Larry Coryell and another Midwestern favorite, Jerry Hahn.  Then, he started coming home for the holidays and played concerts with his Group and his trumpeter brother Mike at my university, rousing yet intimate shows

Pat Metheny has been a presence throughout my listening career.  “Bright Size Life” was a first exposure to Jaco Pastorius.  Together they were bright and brilliant, fresh and exciting.  For me, Pastorius became mannered, a collection of tricks, however jaw dropping.  With Metheny here they played serious jazz, including the Ornette Coleman set “Round Trip/Broadway Blues” featured on this show.

 The first Group album, with “Phase Dance” and “San Lorenzo,” was in heavy rotation for the captivating melodies and building solos by both Metheny and Lyle Mays.   And I still remember an interview with him from the period for this emerging icon of jazz rock telling guitar players to listen to horns, that the music has a history, a craft, a discipline.  That bracing intelligence and, yes, wisdom from someone a year older than I was striking and serious.

He was always there, but he became easy to overlook.  I found subsequent Group albums pleasant enough but they didn’t stick, and adventurous projects “80/81” and, especially, “Song X” with Ornette Coleman somehow didn’t grab me.  Likely, I just couldn’t give them enough of my too-limited jazz listening time.

I could more easily squeeze some room for him in the family sonic space with Joni Mitchell’s “Shadows and Light” (also with Pastorius) and the beautiful “One Quiet Night,” which was enough like other fingerstyle guitar work I put on the sound system

John Zorn’s Masada Project is captivating, so Metheny’s “Tap: Book of Angels Volume 20” has been a chance to get both a deeper sense of  Zorn’s vision and the orchestrational side of Metheny’s work. It’s not quite the Orchestrion Project--Metheny’s intriguing solo work deploying an automatic music-playing contraption--but equally rich and fascinating.

There’s so much to like about Pat Metheny-- the melodies, his big and intelligent ears, his respect for the tradition and craft, his articulate enthusiasm--that I regret that I’m not a bigger fan.  

This show, in honor of his 63rd birthday, is yet another welcome prod from Jazz Spectrum to listen smarter.

Pat Metheny’s career is an ongoing invitation to do just that, listen smarter. 

It’s what we Kansas City boys do.