Zero Tolerance for Silence

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Zero Tolerance for Silence
Studio album by
RecordedDecember 16, 1992
StudioPower Station, New York City
GenreAvant-garde jazz, free improvisation
ProducerPat Metheny
Pat Metheny chronology
The Road to You
Zero Tolerance for Silence
I Can See Your House from Here
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic1.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB-[2]
The New York Timesunfavorable[3]
Robert Christgau(dud)[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music1/5 stars[5]

Zero Tolerance for Silence is a studio album by American jazz guitarist Pat Metheny that was released by Geffen Records label in 1994. The album was recorded in one day and consists of improvised, solo electric guitar.

Background and reception[edit]

Tim Griggs of AllMusic called it "semi-organized noise."[1]

Griggs has two theories about the album's origins. The first is that Metheny was upset with Geffen, and as his contract was ending this was his way of expressing his displeasure.[1] In 2008, Metheny said,

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.[6]

Griggs's second theory is that Metheny simply made the kind of album he wanted to make.[1] At All About Jazz, one critic called it "the album no one seems to understand."[7]

The cover of Zero Tolerance for Silence carried an endorsement by Thurston Moore, guitarist for Sonic Youth, who called the album "an incendiary work by an unpredictable master."[8] Critics have been less kind. Ben Watson of the music magazine The Wire called it "rubbish," and Griggs gave it 1.5 out of a possible 5 stars.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Pat Metheny.

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
Total length:39:14


  • Pat Metheny – electric guitar


  1. ^ a b c d Griggs, Tim. "Zero Tolerance for Silence". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  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. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  6. ^ Gold, Jude (September 2008). "Full Contact Musicology". Guitar Player. San Bruno, California: Newbay Media. 42 (9): 102.
  7. ^ Holloway, Nathan (1 March 2015). "Pat Metheny: Quantum Musician". All About Jazz. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Zero Tolerance for Silence". Pat Metheny. Retrieved 9 September 2017.