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In stores tomorrow: Jazz icon Pat Metheny gets classical with “Road to the Sun”

Pat Metheny (photo: John Peden)

Road to the Sun hits stores tomorrow (March 5), marking a bold new departure for legendary American jazz guitarist, composer, improviser and 20-time Grammy winner Pat Metheny. Featuring the world premiere recordings of two substantial multi-movement suites by the artist, performed by five of today’s foremost classical guitarists, the new BMG Modern Recordings release represents Metheny’s recording debut as a chamber composer and the first on which he himself makes only a brief cameo. The record entrusts his two compositions to their respective dedicatees: Jason Vieaux performs the solo guitar suite Four Paths of Light and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet interprets the title work, Road to the Sun. As the Wall Street Journal writes, Metheny’s “harmonically adventurousand beautifully nuanced” new album “toys interestingly with a musical language shared by Debussy and Django Reinhardt, … present[ing] significant additions to the solo, ensemble and transcription repertory from an unexpected quarter.”

One of only four guitarists inducted into the Downbeat Hall of Fame, over the course of his exceptionally long and prolific career Pat Metheny has collaborated with artists ranging from Ornette Coleman and Herbie Hancock to Steve Reich and John Zorn. Bringing new energy to the concert hall in music from Bach to bluegrass, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) shares Metheny’s open-minded eclecticism. The four guitarists recorded his “Letter from Home” on their Grammy-winning album Guitar Heroes, and it was for them that he composed his new record’s centerpiece, Road to the Sun, which San Francisco Classical Voice hails as “a major addition to the guitar-quartet literature.” Similarly, it was Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation” (NPR), who inspired the through-composed, four-movement solo guitar suite Four Paths of Light. The recording concludes with what Metheny considers a “bonus track”: his own performance of his own transcription for 42-string guitar of Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina, the piano miniature with which the Estonian composer introduced his signature “tintinnabuli” style.

Click here to order Road to the Sun, here to learn more about Pat Metheny and here to download high-resolution photos.

Pat Metheny: Road to the Sun
Label: BMG’s Modern Recordings
Release date: March 5, 2021
Artists: Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Jason Vieaux, Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny: Four Paths of Light (Jason Vieaux, guitar)
Pat Metheny: Road to the Sun (Los Angeles Guitar Quartet)
Arvo Pärt (arr. Metheny): Für Alina (Pat Metheny, Manzer 42-string Pikasso guitar)

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© 21C Media Group, March 2021


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