Big news for audiophile fans of Pat Metheny: The guitar legend’s complete ECM catalog of 11 albums will be available for the first time on July 31st as high-resolution masters for download and streaming. In a press statement, ECM’s mastering engineer Christoph Stickel said, “The main premise in digitizing the Pat Metheny tapes was not to change the sound of the recordings, but to realize them in the original form, in the best possible quality. The work was based on the original, analog stereo master tapes. The masters are in very good condition and can be played without problems.”
All tapes were played by a Studer A820, which was meticulously calibrated to the respective tape, explained Stickel. The analog signal was digitized in 96kHz / 24bit, which covers the complete spectrum of the original bands. “In each case, a decision was made between a PrismSound ADA-8XR, an Antelope Eclipse Mastering AD, and a Mythek Brooklyn ADC, depending on which one suited best the respective recording,” said Stickel. “No denoising and no other restoration affecting the sound was carried out.”
Metheny recorded under the ECM label from 1976 to 1984, a span that included his debut album, Bright Size Life, which featured Jaco Pastorius on bass and Bob Moses on drums. Metheny’s run on ECM also witnessed the formation of the Pat Metheny Group, with Lyle Mays on keyboards, Mark Egan on bass and Danny Gottlieb on drums. The group’s debut self-released album was released in 1978. Metheny’s final album as a leader for ECM was First Circle, released in 1984, but he would go on to appear on several compilations for the label throughout his career, most recently in 2015 for Hommage à Eberhard Weber.
For more info on ECM, visit the label’s website.