Nonesuch Records releases a pair of new albums from guitarist, composer, and bandleader Pat Metheny on May 6, 2016. Metheny is well-known as a musical collaborator, and both records feature friends and colleagues with whom he has worked for years. The Unity Sessions is taken from a filmed performance with Pat Metheny Unity Group that was recently released on DVD; the set comprises 13 songs by Metheny, one he co-wrote with Ornette Coleman, and one well known standard by Ray Noble. And Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny joins the guitarist with a trio led by longtime Pat Metheny Group trumpeter Cuong Vu. It comprises five tunes written by Vu plus one by Metheny and one by Andrew D'Angelo.
In 2013, for the first time since 1980, Metheny recorded with a band that highlighted tenor saxophone. The resulting Unity Band, which went on to win him his 20th Grammy Award, featured Chris Potter on sax and bass clarinet, longtime collaborator Antonio Sanchez on drums, and Ben Williams on bass. Metheny then took that same ensemble into new territory with the addition of his Orchestrion and a focus on more through-composed material and christened the ensemble Pat Metheny Unity Group. The Group's first record, Kin (←→) , was released by Nonesuch in 2014 and was named the best jazz album of the year in the DownBeatReaders Poll Awards. The Group went on a world tour of more than 150 cities; at the end, they hunkered down in a small Manhattan theater to film new performances of music from the original Unity Band, the expansive Kin (←→) , and touchstones from the entirety of Metheny's music catalog. The results were released on DVD last year as The Unity Sessions, and now Nonesuch releases the album of the same name.