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Pat Metheny new album, MoonDial, releasing on July 26

(March 2024) — Legendary American guitarist, composer, improviser and 20-time Grammy winner Pat Metheny announces the release of his newest album, MoonDial, on BMG on July 26. As on his previous recordings One Quiet Night (2003) and What’s It All About (2011), MoonDial is purely a solo guitar record with no overdubs, recorded on baritone guitar. What sets MoonDial apart from those projects – and from anything Metheny has ever done – is that the album was conceived and recorded, and will be released, in the middle of another tour. This unprecedented situation arose in part because of his enthusiasm for the guitar itself: a custom-built nylon-string instrument made by Linda Manzer, a close collaborator of Metheny’s and one of the world’s premier luthiers. For the previous albums, Metheny developed a special tuning system that conventional nylon strings are not able to achieve “without breaking or sounding like a banjo,” as Metheny says, and his discovery last fall of a new kind of string made in Argentina that was up to the task opened up the world of possibilities heard on MoonDial. The album is available now for pre-order on CD, vinyl and digital formats. The title track, “MoonDial,” drops today, March 19. The album will be available to stream here on July 26; to request an advance of the full album, reply to this email. Metheny will also continue his Dream Box tour in the U.S. from March 7–April 13, including a stop at New York’s 92NY on April 7. A European Dream Box/MoonDial tour follows, beginning in October 2024.

The choice of repertoire on MoonDial is something like what Metheny recorded on One Quiet Night and What’s It All About: a combination of original tunes inspired by the new instrument and standards for which it is the perfect match. Chick Corea’s “You’re Everything” rubs shoulders with Lennon and McCartney’s “Here, There and Everywhere” and the Matt Dennis standards “Angel Eyes” and “Everything Happens to Me” (combined with Bernstein’s “Somewhere”). David Raskin’s “My Love and I,” written for the Burt Lancaster western Apache, and the traditional “Londonderry Air” are also covered. Many of Metheny’s originals were written during last fall’s Dream Box tour, as he explored the possibilities of the new setup, but he also revisited his own tune “This Belongs to You,” recorded with his Unity Band in 2012. All the material shares a vibe Metheny calls “intense contemplation,” with the instrument itself taking center stage. The guitarist explains:

“[Last fall’s tour] represented not just the sound and vibe of the Dream Box release, but really was an opportunity for me to look at all the other ways I have released records and done occasional performances in a solo setting across the years. Each one of those solo recordings, and Dream Box as well, are unlike the others. The idea for me is to try to keep coming up with different angles and ways of thinking about music while hopefully keeping a fundamental aesthetic at work in all of it. In other words, to continue the research. … For the 50+ concerts I just finished, I introduced this new instrument and this new sound. At first it was just one tune. Then two. By the time the tour was over, the new nylon-string baritone guitar could be twenty or twenty-five minutes of the whole concert.”

Metheny has already produced a catalogue of 50-plus recordings that have scored 39 Grammy nominations and 20 wins in twelve different categories. Measured in terms of influence, this catalogue is in a class by itself. New Chautauqua from 1979 almost single-handedly defined an era of instrumental steel-stringed Americana that spawned legions of imitators. Zero Tolerance For Silence pushed the boundaries of modern music-making once again, and served as a companion piece to the Grammy-winning disc Secret Story. The Orchestrion Project – for which Metheny wrote the music and built a series of instruments to be controlled by his guitar, recording the results both in the studio and in a live concert – was so new in conception and execution that even a decade-plus later, it stands apart from any previous ideas of what a solo performer might achieve alone onstage.

Alongside those projects was yet another stream of development. His two back-to-back solo baritone guitar recordings, One Quiet Night and What’s It All About, were both Grammy winners and the stylistic predecessors to MoonDial. Not only do they shine as pure solo guitar recordings, but the entirely new tuning system that they introduced allowed Metheny to create an almost orchestral range, from bass to soprano, that is heard again on MoonDial.

The MoonDial aesthetic is a return to solo performance territory, but simpler: the infectious, “listen to this!” enthusiasm that has been a hallmark of Metheny’s whole career is dedicated here to the excitement of sharing new sounds. As he puts it: “It is a beautiful, rich and kind of infinite-feeling new world for me.”

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, in 1996. He has also taught music workshops all over the world, from the Dutch Royal Conservatory to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to clinics in Asia and South America. He has 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, he 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, and Best Instrumental Composition, at one point winning seven consecutive Grammys 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. In 2018 he was named an NEA Jazz Master, the nation’s highest honor in jazz, awarded to the recipients “for their lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.” Metheny has spent much of his life on tour, often doing more than 100 shows a year, since becoming a bandleader in the 70s. 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.

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Pat Metheny: MoonDial
Label: BMG Recordings
Release date: July 26, 2024
Format: CD, vinyl and digital

  1. MoonDial (Metheny)
  2. La Crosse (Metheny)
  3. You’re Everything (Corea/Potter)
  4. Here, There and Everywhere (Lennon/McCartney)
  5. We Can’t See It, But It’s There (Metheny)
  6. Falcon Love (Metheny)
  7. Everything Happens To Me/Somewhere (Dennis/Adair; Bernstein/Sondheim)
  8. Londonderry Air (Traditional)
  9. This Belongs To You (Metheny)
  10. Shōga (Metheny)
  11. My Love And I (Raskin/Mercer)
  12. Angel Eyes (Dennis/Brent)
  13. MoonDial (epilogue) (Metheny)


Pat Metheny: U.S. and Europe tour dates

 Dream Box tour

March 7
Rocky Mount, VA
Harvester Performance Center

March 8
Charlottesville, VA
Paramount Theater

March 9
Columbus, OH
Davidson Theatre, Riffe Center

March 10
Bloomington, IN
Buskirk-Chumley Theater

March 12
Springfield, MO
The Gillioz Center for Arts and Entertainment

March 13
Rogers, AR
Victory Theater

March 15
Meridian, MS
Riley Center at Mississippi State University

March 16
New Orleans, LA
Orpheum Theater

March 17
Birmingham, AL
The Lyric Theatre

March 19
Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Parker Playhouse

March 20
Gainesville, FL
Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

March 21
Clearwater, FL
Bilheimer Capitol Theatre

March 23
Stuart, FL
The Lyric Theatre

March 24
Orlando, FL
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

March 26
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Symphony Hall

March 27
Greenville, SC
The Peace Center

March 28
Charleston, SC
Charleston Music Hall

March 29
Charlotte, NC
Blumenthal Performing Arts Knight Theater

March 30
Durham, NC
Carolina Theatre of Durham

April 1
Lexington, KY
Lexington Opera House

April 3
North Bethesda, MD
The Music Center at Strathmore

April 4
Ashburn, VA
Janelia Research Campus

April 5
Morristown, NJ
Mayo Performing Arts Center

April 6
Reading, PA
Berks Jazz Festival

April 7
New York, NY

April 9
Ridgefield, CT
The Ridgefield Playhouse

April 10
Portland, ME
State Theatre

April 11
Portsmouth, NH
The Music Hall

April 12
Northampton, MA
The Academy of Music

April 13
Poughkeepsie, NY
Bardavon, 1869 Opera House

Dream Box/MoonDial tour

Oct 1
Inowrocław, Poland
Teatr Miejski

Oct 3 & 4
Gdańsk, Poland
Stary Maneż

Oct 5
Warsaw, Poland

Oct 6
Wrocław, Poland
National Music Forum

Oct 7
Katowice, Poland
National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Oct 8
Budapest, Hungary
Erkel Theatre

Oct 14
Cologne, Germany
Kölner Philharmonie

Oct 17
nchen, Germany

Oct 18
Ludwigshafen Am Rhein, Germany

Oct 19
Hamburg, Germany

Oct 20
Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Alte Oper

Oct 21
Berlin, Germany

Oct 28
Genève, Switzerland
Victoria Hall

Oct 31
Udine, Italy
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine

Nov 1
Brescia, Italy
Gran Teatro Morato

Nov 2
Milano, Italy
Teatro Lirico Giorgio Gaber

Nov 3
Bologna, Italy
Teatro Auditorium Manzoni

Nov 4
Rome, Italy
Auditorium Parco della Musica Sala Santa Cecilia

Nov 14
Birmingham, UK
Birmingham Symphony Hall

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© 21C Media Group, March 2024

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