Several facets of contemporary music were accommodated last night at Wolf Trap.
Despite the imposing array of electronic accessories surrounding them, the Pat Metheny Group achieved a separation of sound that left ample space for individual expression.
A strongly melodic group, the solo efforts were shared about equally by Metheny and pianist Lyle Mays. They commented upon and extended each other's statements on the first of several untitled numbers destined for the quartet's next album.
On "Untitled No. 2," Metheny's unaccompanied solo proved beyond question that he is a master of his instrument.
Mays, of whose visage one catches only fleeting glimpses since he does not face the audience, manages the grand statement without becoming grandiose.
Bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb provided strong support.
The Metheny group produced an imaginative and innovative blend of jazz, rock and country that drew strong and positive response from an audience of mixed ages.
Herbie Mann's brief set was interesting only for the variety of instrumental exotica employed by the several percussionists and the effects achieved therefrom.
In its first appearance in this area the Akiyoshi-Tabackin Big Band showed Washingtonians what listeners in other parts of the country already know: that it is a reincarnation of the best aspects of the greatest of the big bands and that it incorporates in its writing (mostly by Ms. Akiyoshi) contemporary directions of jazz. The Wolf Trap Jazz Festival continues tonight with Count Basie and Sunday with Earl Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and others.