Zero Tolerance for Silence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zero Tolerance for Silence
Studio album by Pat Metheny
Released 1994
Recorded December 16, 1992
Genre Avant-garde jazz, free improv, noise music
Length 39:14
Label Geffen Records
Producer Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny chronology
The Road to You
Zero Tolerance for Silence
We Live Here
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars [1]
Entertainment Weekly B-[2]
The New York Times unfavorable[3]
Robert Christgau (dud)[4]

Zero Tolerance for Silence is a controversial 1994 album by American jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.

Recorded for Geffen Records, it was performed entirely on guitar, although all of the tracks were overdubbed ("Part 5" also contains an acoustic guitar amongst the overdriven electric guitars). Rather than Metheny's standard reportoire of fusion jazz, Zero Tolerance for Silence consists of frantic, overdriven, intricately textured guitar soloing with occasionally distinguishable blues-like melodies. The album caused a division of opinion among listeners, who had not expected the formerly accessible Metheny to venture into the avant-garde. Some, including many of Metheny's most devoted fans, felt that the album was a cataclysmic artistic mistake, and fan forums have from time to time attempted to pressure Metheny into disowning the recording. He has declined to do so, although Geffen quietly allowed it to fall out of print towards the end of the 1990s. In a 2008 interview, Metheny was asked to respond to an internet rumor that the album was conceived as a "'poke in the eye' to Geffen records":

That rumor was started by a journalist who was seriously not listening to the album. All it would have taken was a quick phone call [to me] to find out that that wasn't the case. Besides, I would never do something like that. It isn't the way I operate, which I think has been pretty self-evident over the years. That record speaks for itself in its own musical terms. To me, it is a 2-D view of a world in which I am usually functioning in a more 3-D way. It is entirely flat music, and that was exactly what it was intended to be.[5]

The cover carried an endorsement by Sonic Youth guitarist/singer Thurston Moore, hailing Metheny as a "master". Critics have generally been less kind; Ben Watson of the music magazine The Wire described it as "rubbish," and Allmusic's Tim Griggs awarded it 1.5 out of a possible 5 stars.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Part 1" – 18:32
  2. "Part 2" – 5:17
  3. "Part 3" – 4:19
  4. "Part 4" – 5:13
  5. "Part 5" – 5:53


  1. ^
  2. ^ Steffens, Daneet (1 April 1994). "Zero Tolerance for Silence". Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc.) (216). Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Zwerin, Mike (30 March 1994). "For Pat Metheny, Silence Is Awful : The Sound Under The Sound". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Pat Metheny". Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Gold, Jude (September 2008). "Full Contact Musicology". Guitar Player (San Bruno, CA: Newbay Media) 42 (9): 102.