Pat Metheny - acoustic and electric guitars, guitar synth
Lyle Mays - acoustic piano, keyboards
Steve Rodby - acoustic bass
Richard Bona - vocals, percussion
Cuong Vu - trumpet, vocals
Antonio Sanchez - drums
Over the course of more than 20 years as a recording artist, guitarist Pat Metheny has released album after album, each one brilliantly documenting another aspect of his unique and nearly uncategorizable musical journey. Exhibiting an insatiable creative energy, Metheny has participated in just about every avenue of modern music-making that the early 21st century might offer a musician. Seemingly bent on blurring and obliterating stylistic boundaries at every opportunity, he has created an expansively impressive body of work that includes a series of highly influential trio recordings, award winning solo albums, scores for hit Hollywood motion pictures, duets with major artists such as Charlie Haden and Jim Hall, and collaborations with other significant figures in modern music such as Ornette Coleman, Steve Reich and many others.
But for legions of his fans worldwide, there is no setting that defines Metheny the musician more than his role as bandleader of one of the most acclaimed and influential musical ensembles of the past quarter century, the Pat Metheny Group. As the only group in history to win seven consecutive Grammy awards for seven consecutive releases, the Pat Metheny Group has occupied a nearly undefinable musical territory that is accessible to listeners of all kinds while never compromising a unique compositional and improvisational integrity that is unparalleled among contemporary and mainstream jazz groups.
Founded by Metheny in 1977, the PMG has relentlessly traveled the world playing and selling out concerts, festivals and clubs in more than 40 countries, becoming one of the most active and popular touring acts of any kind anywhere. Each new record and tour are awaited with eager anticipation and speculation; this is a band with an imagination and no-holds-barred creativity that has constantly surprised and delighted fans with the unexpected, yet always delivers on the endless promise of imagination and pure melody that was invoked from the first notes of their first record.
With "SPEAKING OF NOW", their eleventh studio album, the Pat Metheny Group has evolved to a new level, a new high and a joyous new stride in their journey of discovery. With three exciting new faces in the band, Metheny and his longtime pianist/collaborator, Lyle Mays, join bassist and co-producer Steve Rodby (now in his 20th year with the band) to once again challenge the basic premise of what a modern day jazz group can be, delivering a collection of music that delights and resonates with its unique musical perspective into the now of this moment in time while striking a universal and timeless note of hope that will speak to listeners everywhere.
THE PMG AGAIN
After a hiatus of three years since the Group wrapped up its previous Imaginary Day tour, Metheny began formulating plans for a new lineup and recording of the PMG in early 2001. Says Metheny "One of the prime factors that has allowed the band to go on and on for this many years has been the concept of designating fairly significant periods of open time between each of our major projects and the usually several year long tours that follow the release of a new record. This gives all of us the chance to go off and do our own individual things of course, but it also gives us time to think about what we can do next time when we do get back together -- how to improve and expand on the basic premise of what we are about each time. For me, having spent the majority of my off time this time working in a trio situation, which i love, i have to admit that i was very excited to get back the bigger sound and the endless stylistic opportunities that the PMG situation offers like never before. As much as I love the many and varied activities that I am afforded the chance to explore outside of the Group, there are so many things that the Group's open ended format provide that just simply don't exist anywhere else in music for me. And I think that as the years have gone by we all have an appreciation of how lucky we are to be able to continue our collective research in this very special environment of intensely working together and exploring the range of possibilities that music in it's broadest sense offers us like we do."