Pat Metheny, one of the most critically acclaimed — and commercially successful — jazz guitarists of the past 40 years, was born on this day (August 12) in 1954. He turns 65 today. A true innovator and stylistic omnivore, he has, over his long and fruitful career, developed a unique musical aesthetic that is both intellectual yet highly accessible. It’s also one that has long straddled multiple genres, including pop, Brazilian, rock and contemporary jazz.
For his tireless efforts and undeniable contributions to the shape and direction of jazz music, he has been awarded numerous Grammys, three certified gold albums (Secret Story, Still Live Talking, Letter From Home, for those keeping count) and a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master Award. With his writing partner Lyle Mays, Metheny produced some of the most beautiful and stylistically adventurous music of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. As a soloist and bandleader, Metheny continues to realize his bold and ever-evolving vision of jazz. Our Song of the Day is “Minuano,” from the Pat Metheny Group’s landmark 1987 album Still Life (Talking). Happy birthday to a living jazz legend!