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Pat Metheny Announces Dream Box on BMG Modern Recordings (June 16) and Tours the U.S. and Europe

(April 2023) — Legendary American guitarist, composer and improviser Pat Metheny announces his newest album, Dream Box, on the BMG Modern Recordings label out June 16. The album is available now for pre-order on CD, vinyl or digital formats.  Two singles will be released in advance of the full album: “From the Mountains” today, April 7 and “Ole & Gard” on May 12. The full album will be available here.

Meanwhile, Metheny has a host of tour dates lined up in the U.S. and Europe with his Side-Eye Trio.   Launched in 2016 as a platform for up-and-coming players, this iteration features pianist Chris Fishman and drummer Joe Dyson.  The Side-Eye tour begins in June and moves to Europe in July.   Beginning in September Metheny launches a fall tour in support of Dream Box with destinations throughout the U.S.

Despite a catalog of 50 recordings that have won 20 Grammys in twelve different categories, Metheny’s “complex and restlessly curious musical sensibility” (The Guardian) continues to lead him in new directions. As Pat says in the liner notes:

“Dream Box is an unusual recording for me; a compilation of solo tracks recorded across a few years that I discovered while listening on tour.  During the extensive touring period that made up most of 2022 for me, I found a forgotten folder on my drive. I often make quick recordings of things; a new tune, a new (or old) guitar, a standard tune, or just to try something out. I have a spot in my laptop where I stash these things. And truthfully; often never to be heard again.

Usually, the only time I get to listen to my own stuff is while on the road. I often say I live on output, with little or no time for input. That changes on tour, where suddenly there seems to be more free hours in the day, albeit on a bus or in some far-flung hotel room. Occasionally, those moments offer a chance to rummage around in the files to see if anything interesting may lie there.

This past year was a particularly busy travel year for me, with about 160 performances worldwide. In the course of all that travel, I found myself returning to that discovered folder lots of times, genuinely surprised at what I was finding in there.

From those listening sessions, I gradually sifted through everything to find this program emerging as a coherent whole. I found that I had unintentionally gotten to a destination I had not planned for, and I am excited to share what was buried in there.

These nine tracks were my favorites and added up to something unique for me. I never played any of these initial tracks included here more than that once. These are really moments in time, and in fact, I have almost no memory of having recorded most of them. They just kind of showed up.

Every track but one reflects a method of recording that began for me on the piece Unity Village way back on Bright Size Life;  an initial harmonic part laid down with the chords followed by a second track of melodic and improvisational material.

The focus here is on electric guitar, but maybe more to the point; quiet electric guitar. It is an area of particular interest for me. A goal has always been to have a touch on the electric that might get me as close to the kind of phrase-by-phrase dynamics that can occur naturally with an acoustic instrument. In fact, using an electric in this way is quite a bit harder than what occurs naturally with an acoustic. There is one more step between the touch of the player and the listener that has to be accounted for.

Ballads. I write one a day it seems – more than I can keep track of, actually. Charlie Haden was the guy who encouraged me to not just write a lead sheet, but to document each thing I write by doing even just a simple recording of it. So, yet again, thanks, Charlie.

Regarding the title, box is musician slang for a hollow-body electric guitar. Using that vernacular, there are some super cool Dream Box instruments represented on this recording, including the prototype of new instrument I have been working with Ibanez on that reflects my interest in pre-war Charlie Christian style pick-ups.

But dreams in their broadest sense make up the vibe with this set. Music exists for me in an elusive state, often at its best when discovered apart from any particular intention.

I hope folks might find some dreams of their own in this music.”

About Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny was born in Lee’s Summit, MO on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility -a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional “jazz guitar” sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Pat Metheny has continued to redefine the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.

Metheny’s versatility is nearly without peer on any instrument. Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich to Ornette Coleman to Herbie Hancock to Jim Hall to Milton Nascimento to David Bowie. Metheny’s body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces and even the robotic instruments of his Orchestrion project, while always sidestepping the limits of any one genre.

As well as being an accomplished musician, Metheny has also participated in the academic arena as a music educator. At 18, he was the youngest teacher ever at the University of Miami. At 19, he became the youngest teacher ever at the Berklee College of Music, where he also received an honorary doctorate more than twenty years later (1996). He has also taught music workshops all over the world, from the Dutch Royal Conservatory to the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz to clinics in Asia and South America. He has also been a true musical pioneer in the realm of electronic music, and was one of the very first jazz musicians to treat the synthesizer as a serious musical instrument. Years before the invention of MIDI technology, Metheny was using the Synclavier as a composing tool. He also has been instrumental in the development of several new kinds of guitars such as the soprano acoustic guitar, the 42-string Pikasso guitar, Ibanez’s PM series jazz guitars, and a variety of other custom instruments.

It is one thing to attain popularity as a musician, but it is another to receive the kind of acclaim Metheny has garnered from critics and peers. Over the years, Metheny has won countless polls as “Best Jazz Guitarist” and awards, including three gold records for (Still Life) Talking, Letter from Home, and Secret Story. He has also won 20 Grammy Awards spread out over a variety of different categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, Best Instrumental Composition at one point winning seven consecutive Grammies for seven consecutive albums. In 2015 he was inducted into the Downbeat Hall of Fame, becoming only the fourth guitarist to be included (along with Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery) and its youngest member. Metheny has spent much of his life on tour, often doing more than 100 shows a year since becoming a bandleader in the 70’s. At the time of this writing, he continues to be one of the brightest stars of the jazz community, dedicating time to both his own projects and those of emerging artists and established veterans alike, helping them to reach their audience as well as realizing their own artistic visions.

Click here to download high-resolution photos.

Pat Metheny: Dream Box
Label: BMG Modern Recordings
Release date: June 16, 2023
1. The Waves Are Not the Ocean
2. From the Mountains
3. Ole & Gard
4. Trust Your Angels
5. Never Was Love
6. I Fall in Love Too Easily
7. P.C. of Belgium
8. Morning of the Carnival
9. Clouds Can’t Change the Sky

Pat Metheny: tour dates
Side-Eye w/ Chris Fishman & Joe Dyson
June 7
Lebanon, NH
Lebanon Opera House

June 8
Beverly, MA
The Cabot Performing Arts Center

June 9
Nashua, NH
Nashua Center for the Arts

June 10
Wilmington, DE
The Grand Opera House

June 11
Richmond, VA
The National

June 13
Cincinnati, OH
Memorial Hall

June 15
Kansas City, MO
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

June 16
Champaign, IL
Virginia Theatre

June 17
Cleveland Heights, OH
Cain Park

June 18
Newark, OH
Midland Theatre

June 20
Highland Park, IL
Ravinia Festival

June 22
Munhall, PA
Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall

June 23
Rochester, NY
Rochester International Jazz Festival

June 24
New York, NY
Beacon Theatre

June 25
Saratoga Springs, NY
Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival

June 26
Washington, DC
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

July 5
Aarhus, Denmark
Musikhuset Aarhus

July 6 & 7
Copenhagen, Denmark
DR Koncerthuset

July 9
Rotterdam, Netherlands
North Sea Jazz Festival

July 10
Lille, France
Théâtre Sébastopol

July 12
Vienne, France
Jazz a Vienne – Theatre Antique

July 13
Montreux, Switzerland
Montreux Jazz Festival

July 15
Sète, France
Jazz á Sete Festival – Theatre de la Mer

July 16
Monte-Carlo, Monaco

July 17
Lucca, Italy
Piazza Napoleone

July 18
Udine, Italy
Castello di Udine

July 19
Bergamo, Italy

July 21
Marciac, France
Jazz in Marciac

July 22
Girona, Spain
Festival Porta Ferrada – Guixols Arena

July 24
San Sebastían, Spain
Kursaal Auditorium – Jazzaldia

July 26
Jerez de la Frontera
Tío Pepe Festival

Dream Box Tour
Sep 16
Portland, ME
State Theatre

Sep 19
Ridgefield, CT
The Ridgefield Playhouse

Sep 20
Hartford, CT
Infinity Hall

Sep 21
Boston, MA
The Wilbur Theatre

Sep 22
Glenside, PA
The Keswick Theatre

Sep 25
Burlington, VT
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

Sep 29
Indianapolis, IN
Indy Jazz Fest @ Clowes Memorial Hall

Sep 30
Royal Oak, MI
Royal Oak Music Theatre

Oct 5
Milwaukee, WI
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Oct 9
Nashville, TN
The Ryman Auditorium

Oct 10
Memphis, TN
Minglewood Hall

Oct 11
Dallas, TX
The Majestic Theatre

Oct 12
Austin, TX
The Paramount Theatre

Oct 15
Denver, CO
Paramount Theatre

Oct 16
Boulder, CO
Boulder Theater

Oct 18–21
Park City, Utah
The Egyptian Theatre


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© 21C Media Group, April 2023

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