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What's It All About

What's It All About cover art

Track Listing

Click tracks with speaker icon to listen
1The Sound of Silence (Paul Simon)6:33
2Cherish (Terry Kirkman)5:25
3Alfie (Burt Bacharach & Hal David)7:41
4Pipeline (Bob Spickard & Brian Carman)3:23
5Garota de Ipanema (Antonio Carlos Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes)5:07
6Rainy Days and Mondays (Roger S. Nichols & Paul H. Williams)7:10
7That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be (Carly Simon & Jacob Brackman)5:57
8Slow Hot Wind (Henry Mancini & Normal Gimbel)4:23
9Betcha by Golly, Wow (Thomas Bell & Linda Creed)5:12
10And I Love Her (John Lennon & Paul McCartney)4:22
11Bonus Download: 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams & Bernie Hanighen)6:37

News & Reviews

  • Pat Metheny Unity Group's North American Tour Culminates at NYC's Town Hall

    The Pat Metheny Unity Group—Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams, and Giulio Carmassi—concluded the North American leg of its world tour, performing music from the debut album, Kin (←→), and much more at New York's Town Hall on Friday. "Metheny is one of the most industrious creative engines in jazz, and his relentless breadth has become a calling card, if not a selling point, among his fans," says the New York Times. "New York was his final stop on a grueling North American tour, which meant that the structure and pace of the production had been nailed down tight." The Group begins a months-long European tour at the end of April. 

  • Pat Metheny Unity Group's "Kin (←→)" Debuts at #1 on Billboard Jazz Chart

    Kin (←→), the debut album from Pat Metheny Unity Group—Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams, and Giulio Carmassi—has premiered in the top spot on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. "There’s a sprightliness and a captivating agility present throughout this album, even in its more reflective and graceful moments," says MusicOMH in a four-star review. "This suggests a new ensemble taking complete joy in the art of making creative music and taking new risks."

About this Album

2011 Grammy Award Winner

Nonesuch Records releases What’s It All About—a solo acoustic album from guitarist and composer Pat Metheny—on June 14, 2011. After nearly 40 recordings under his name, this marks the first time there is not a single Metheny composition represented. Rather, What’s It All About comprises 10 classic songs, some very well known, that hold personal meanings for the guitarist. What’s It All About is available for pre-order now; all pre-orders come with a limited-edition, 9x12 photographic print, a number of which will be signed, and a free instant download of the album track “Alfie,” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Following the Grammy–winning 2001 solo acoustic record One Quiet Night, Metheny began regularly playing the specially tuned baritone guitar he used on that album in the breaks between sound check and the show when he was on the road. “Almost every day as I worked through one well-known tune or another, various visitors or local crew people would come up to me and ask which record it was on, and I would have to say that I had never made a record like that,” Metheny says. “And over the years, I have had it in the back of my mind that I should do an album of some of those tunes at some point.”

As with One Quiet Night, Metheny recorded the songs on What’s It All About late at night, in his New York City home over a short period of time. In selecting which ones to put to tape, Metheny says: “I wanted to record some of the music that was on my radar before I ever wrote a note of my own, or in a few cases, even before I played an instrument. I was born in 1954 and all of these songs were in the Top 40 during my childhood and early teen years. It was a period when harmony and melody were still important and viable elements in popular music. Every one of these tunes has something going on that is just hip on musical level, no matter how you cut it. They have all stuck with me over the years.”

Most of the record was made using the acoustic baritone guitar, with three exceptions: Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence” is played on a 42-string custom made “Pikasso” guitar, Bob Spickard and Brian Carman’s “Pipeline” is played on a six-string, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “And I Love Her” is played on a nylon string guitar.

Over the course of more than three decades, guitarist Pat Metheny has set himself apart from the jazz mainstream, expanding and blurring boundaries and musical styles. His record-setting body of work includes 18 Grammy Awards in 12 separate categories; a series of influential trio recordings; award-winning solo albums; scores for hit Hollywood motion pictures; and collaborations and duets with major artists such as Ornette Coleman, Steve Reich, Charlie Haden, Brad Mehldau, and many others. His band, the Pat Metheny Group, founded in 1977, is the only ensemble in history to win Grammys for seven consecutive releases.


Pat Metheny, solo baritone guitar; 42-string guitar (track 1), 6-string guitar (track 4), nylon-string guitar (track 10)

Produced by Pat Metheny
Recorded February 2011 in New York, NY
Recorded by Pat Metheny, Pete Karam, and David Oakes
Mixed by Pete Karam
Mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, New York, NY

Design by Barbara de Wilde
Photography by Sandrine Lee

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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