In a benefit for the prestigious Three Arts Club of Chicago, trumpeter Bobby Lewis was feted through an all-star jam session. After dinner, the musicians milled, killing time for the drummer, Paul Wertico, who was due in on a flight from New York.
Despite his superstar status as Pat Metheny’s drummer, for well over a decade now, Wertico has never stopped jamming with and supporting friends in Chicago, a policy that has made him easily one of the most well liked musicians in his hometown.
For this late event, Wertico was glowing. His playing even more crisp and dynamic than usual. When asked what was up, Wertico couldn’t wait to talk about the new upcoming album by his multi-Grammy winning mates.
“Pat and Lyle have really out done themselves this time,” beams Wertico about the Pat Metheny Group’s upcoming album on a new label, Warner Brothers. “It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard from them. I’m telling you, I was on a cloud all the way home from New York.”
Kurt Elling has been very fortunate to have Wertico as part of his group, and he credits the drummer’s experience as a vital force in the production of The Messenger.
“We worked hard to get the record to sound good, so when you put the headphones on, it’s worth putting the headphones on, so that you have a musical experience. Paul was the one who helped to get the sounds right. He’s got so much experience with Pat Metheny in the studio with that real intensive corpuscular level where he really hears every sound.”