Album title: Upojenie
Performer: Pat Metheny (Guitars), Anna Maria Jopek (voice).
Label: Nonesuch
Playing time: 73'07"
Recorded: Warsaw - Poland – 2002.

It's not really something new inside Pat Metheny's universe to wait for the Orchestrion release for which I booked my seat for the Paris live performance this month. The reissue of the Upojenie album originally released by "Anna Maria Jopek & Friends with Pat Metheny" in the singer's native Poland by Warner Music in 2002 is another expected event for Pat's fan community. The Nonesuch edition lists no specific remastering details but includes three bonus tracks (one studio, two live) that extend the playing time to nearly 73 minutes.

Reworking material from Metheny's prolific catalog in addition to traditional Polish songs and originals by Jopek, Upojenie is a soft and romantic production that gives rise to Metheny's lyricism and Jopek's delightful vocals. Sung in Polish, the lyrics are obviously beyond most listeners but Jopek's voice is a perfect duettist for the American guitarist. Like many fans, one of my favorites is undoubtedly ""Are You Going With Me?" for which I'd never have imagined adding a voice like Jopek's to Metheny's synth guitar.

Other favorites are "Another Life" and "Farmer's Trust" which in my opinion outperform the polyphonic previous versions with a gorgeous duet oriented toward greater purity and better nuances. "Follow me" is a faster and more energetic version of "Imaginary Day". If this number in the original outing was one of the most common, this one delivers an uncommon Northern European ethnic climate and the adaptation is a true achievement. To this day, Upojenie remains a great opportunity to hear new versions of Metheny's best compositions under different arrangements and augmented by lyrics. It is also a great opportunity to be introduced to a very talented singer.

The bonus tracks offer the beautiful Polish Christmas carol "Lulajze Jezniu" in ballad form, giving Metheny the opportunity to demonstrate how sensitive and discrete of a sideman he can be. The other two additional tracks are live cuts. "Na Calej Poloci Snieg" ("The snow falls all over the place") is a sweet Brazilian ballad offering a new dimension to Jopek's evanescent voice. "Szepty I Lzy" ("Whispers and Tears") is considerably brighter than the previous two bonus tracks. The lyricism and joy of playing together seems obvious with both protagonists. The generous pleasure of the whole disk seems unreasonable short in the end. As time goes by, it's already whittled down to the last track and I compulsively reach for the "play it again Sam" button. Again...