News & Reviews
- Monday, March 31, 2014
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.
- Tuesday, February 18, 2014
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
Last year, for the first time since 1980, guitarist Pat Metheny recorded with a band that highlighted tenor saxophone. Unity Band, which went on to win Metheny his 20th Grammy Award, featured Chris Potter on sax and bass clarinet, longtime collaborator Antonio Sanchez on drums, and Ben Williams on bass. Now, Metheny has added another musician, multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, and christened the ensemble Pat Metheny Unity Group. The Group’s first record, Kin (←→), will be released by Nonesuch on February 4, 2014. The vinyl includes two 140-gram LPs pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany, and a CD of the album.
The Pat Metheny Unity Group will tour to 44 cities throughout North America this winter, beginning February 3, then tour Europe from April through June.
Metheny says of this new Group, “The core quartet of Chris, Ben, Antonio, and me played more than 100 concerts over the year that followed the release of our Unity Band record. Over the course of that period, the band became one of those rare combinations of players where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; it gelled in every way, and that just seemed to beg for expansion and further research.” He continues, “Simultaneously, I had been itching to write using more of a lush and orchestrated kind of concept that went beyond the sonic limits of what a straight-ahead quartet might invoke. But I really didn’t want to lose the energy, focus, and intensity of what this band had developed. I wanted to take it further. If the first Unity Band record was a thoughtful, black and white documentary of four musicians in a recording studio playing, this record is more like the Technicolor, IMAX version of what a band like this could be—but with that hardcore thing still sitting right in the middle of it all.”
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 20 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, electric and acoustic guitars, guitar synth, electronics, orchestrionics, synths
Chris Potter, tenor sax, bass clarinet, soprano sax, clarinet, alto flute, bass flute
Antonio Sanchez, drums and cajon
Ben Williams, acoustic and electric basses
Giulio Carmassi, piano, trumpet, trombone, french horn, cello, vibes, clarinet, flute, recorder, alto sax, wurlitzer, whistling and vocals
Produced by Pat Metheny
Associate Producer: Steve Rodby
Recorded and Mixed by Pete Karam
Recorded June 2013 at MSR Studios, New York, NY
Assistant Engineer: Fred Sladkey
Mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, New York, NY
Technical Direction: David Oakes
Guitars and Orchestrion Technician: Carolyn Chrzan
Orchestrion Technician: Austin Stillwell
Piano Technician: Mike Micciov
Production Coordination: David Sholemson
Art Direction and Design: Doyle Partners
Photograph of the Pat Metheny Unity Group by Jimmy Katz
All Compositions by Pat Metheny
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
Ben Williams appears courtesy of Concord Jazz
Antonio Sanchez plays Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Sticks, Remo Drumheads, LP Percussion, and Cympad Fets exclusively. Chris Potter plays Rico Jazz Select reeds.