Offramp is the first studio album on which Metheny used a guitar synthesizer, a Roland GR-300 controlled with a Roland G-303 guitar synthesiser controller. The guitar synthesizer became one of Metheny's most frequently used instruments.
Offramp is also the first Group album to feature vocals, which became a fundamental component of the band's sound. When Metheny and Lyle Mays partnered with Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos on the album, As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls, they sought to expand the potential of the recording studio as an ensemble instrument and experiment with sounds they hadn't previously utilized. Some of the innovations introduced on Wichita carried over into Offramp, namely Vasconcelos's vocals and percussion stylings.
The Group pays tribute to one of Metheny's biggest influences, pioneering free jazz instrumentalist Ornette Coleman, on the title track, and singer-songwriter James Taylor served as the inspiration for the sixth track, "James."
|Studio album by Pat Metheny Group|
|Pat Metheny chronology|
|The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide|||
Offramp was critically acclaimed and commercially successful at the time of its release. It won the Playboy Readers Poll for Best Jazz Album and the 1982 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance, the Group's first of ten Grammys.
The album continues to be acclaimed by critics and fans of the Group for its compositional maturity, technological progressiveness, especially for the time it was recorded, and for firmly establishing key hallmarks of the Group's overall sound, namely the guitar synthesizer and vocals.
|1.||"Barcarole" (Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays/Naná Vasconcelos)||3:17|
|2.||"Are You Going with Me?"||8:47|
|4.||"The Bat Part II"||3:50|
A composition entitled "The Bat" appeared on Metheny's collaborative jazz album 80/81, in 1980. "The Bat Part II" is a reworking of that song.
|1982||Pat Metheny Group||Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance|