Are You Going with Me?

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"Are You Going With Me?" is a song by the Pat Metheny Group; it was composed by Metheny and keyboardist Lyle Mays. It was originally recorded in October 1981 for the band's third studio album Offramp.

Background and production[edit]

The guitarist wrote in the Pat Metheny Songbook that the idea for "Are You Going With Me?" came to him while he was walking in the woods one summer day. He returned home and composed the piece on a Synclavier essentially as it had first come to him.[1]

The song features a Latin inflection[2] with simple basic chord scheme played over a "gently percolating bass vamp."[3] It also features two solos: the first by Mays, a "synthed-harmonica melody";[4] and a longer second solo by Metheny, played on a Roland GR-300. Metheny's sound on the Roland (which he also plays when the song is performed live) has been compared with wind instruments such as the flute,[5] but most commonly with the trumpet.[6]

A music video was produced by Robin Young in Los Angeles, prior to Young's move back to Boston to work for WHDH (TV).[7]

Reception and influence[edit]

At the time of the song's recording, Latin American and especially Brazilian music had begun to influence jazz in the United States, and when Brazilian musicians such as Nana Vasconcelos came to play with American artists, this influence, in the case of the Pat Metheny Group, became overt.[8] The "Brazilian" quality of "Are You Going With Me?" is frequently noted;[6][9][10] and it has been considered by some to be "obviously samba-based".[8]

The song was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition at the 1983 Grammy Awards; the Boston Globe added, "It's also our choice for the best fusion ballad of the year."[11] Many critics continue to praise it: The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music calls it "wonderfully contagious and arresting";[12] the Berliner Morgenpost, in 2010, called it a "herzergreifende Standard".[13]

American jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, who first heard "Are You Going With Me?" when he was 13, described listening to it as "one of maybe five or six life-changing moments for me as a listening musician."[14] The Los Angeles Lakers used it as background music for a slow-motion highlight film after winning an NBA championship.[15]

The song is a regular part of Metheny performances.[3] In the 2000s, Polish singer Anna Maria Jopek performed it with Metheny as part of her album Upojenie.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Metheny, Pat. Pat Metheny Songbook. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 440. ISBN 0-634-00796-3. 
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (11 July 1982). "Pop guitar: Pat Metheny at the pier". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2002). The Penguin guide to jazz on CD. Penguin Books. p. 1020. 
  4. ^ Fordham, John (14 July 2010). "Pat Metheny Group: Barbican, London". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Santosuosso, Ernie (13 July 1982). "Review/Music; Davis, Metheny excite common crowd". The Boston Globe. 
  6. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (17 July 1985). "Jazz: Pat Metheny Group performs". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  7. ^ McLaughlin, Jeff (19 June 1982). "Robin Young: 'It'll be great to be back'". The Boston Globe. 
  8. ^ a b McGowan, Chris; Ricardo Pessanha (1998). The Brazilian sound: samba, bossa nova, and the popular music of Brazil. Temple UP. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-56639-545-8. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Karlovits, Bob (17 December 1987). "Jazzman Pat Metheny is on a roll". Chicago Tribune. 
  10. ^ Roberts, John Storm (1999). Latin jazz: the first of the fusions, 1880s to today. Schirmer. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-02-864681-7. 
  11. ^ Santosuosso, Ernie (20 February 1983). "25 Years of record awards; some Grammy gripes – and guesses". The Boston Globe. 
  12. ^ Larkin, Colin (1995). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Guinness. p. 2803. ISBN 978-1-56159-176-3. 
  13. ^ Pilz, Michael (12 February 2010). "Pat Metheny: Jazz ist gut, Kontrolle ist besser". Berliner Morgenpost. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  14. ^ Bungey, John (14 October 2006). "The partners playing it cool: Pat Metheny is recording with Brad Mehldau in what could be jazz's dream team". The Times. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  15. ^ Kart, Larry (2004). Jazz in search of itself. Yale UP. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-300-10420-2.