Pat Metheny Unity Band
By the age of 15, Pat Metheny 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 re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.
Pat Metheny 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- 100 jazz guitar, and a variety of other custom instruments, but none as challenging and ground breaking as his creation and performances with his Orchestrion.
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 19 Grammy Awards spread out over a variety of different categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz InstrumentalSolo, Best Instrumental Composition. The Pat Metheny Group has won an unprecedented seven consecutive Grammies for seven consecutive albums.