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Song X: 20th Anniversary (with Ornette Coleman)

Song X: 20th Anniversary (with Ornette Coleman) cover art
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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

“A joint triumph ... Metheny’s most stunning album ...” —Newsweek

Originally recorded in 1985 over two days, Song X was a collaboration between acclaimed guitarist Pat Metheny and legendary saxophone player Ornette Coleman. The remixed and remastered album, released in August 2005, includes six new opening songs in addition to the original eight tracks. 

Of the 20th anniversary edition release, Pat Metheny says: “There might have been a few different decisions made about what did and didn't get included on the record and especially about how the whole thing actually sounded. With this opportunity to look at things again two decades later, it seems upon review that although I did pick the right takes of the tunes that were on the original version of the release, there were in fact major improvements to be made in the mixing and mastering of the record.”

Following the original release, Song X received extraordinary critical acclaim. People magazine remarked that the “sax and synthesized guitar lines sound like an aural impression of a flash fire”; it was named Top Album by the New York Times, USA Today, Jazziz, and Downbeat.

With the improvements in technology allowed by compact-disc technology, the remastering and remixing help to create “a more complete picture of our efforts,” says Metheny. In addition to Metheny and Coleman's acclaimed performance on Song X, the record also features Charlie Haden on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Denardo Coleman on drums and percussion. The album was remastered by Ted Jenson at Sterling Sound, and remixed by Peter Karam.

Over the course of three decades as a recording artist, guitarist Pat Metheny has set himself apart from the jazz mainstream, expanding and blurring boundaries and musical styles at every opportunity. His impressive body of work includes sixteen Grammys in nine separate categories (the record for multi-category wins), a series of highly influential trio recordings, award winning solo albums, scores for hit Hollywood motion pictures, and collaborations and duets with major artists such Steve Reich, Charlie Haden, Jim Hall, and many others. The Pat Metheny Group, founded in 1977, is the only ensemble in history to win seven consecutive Grammy awards for seven consecutive releases.

Ornette Coleman is one of the most important and controversial innovators in the history of jazz. Ever since the late 1950s, his artistic vision has helped to expand contemporary musical boundaries. A revolutionary saxophonist, Coleman defies musical categorization and is one of the major contributors to the free jazz movement of the 1960s. He is one of the most influential figures today for modern jazz saxophonists.

Credits

MUSICIANS
Pat Metheny, guitar, guitar synth
Ornette Coleman, alto saxophone, violin
Charlie Haden, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums
Denardo Coleman, drums, percussion

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Pat Metheny
Recorded December 13–14, 1985, at The Power Station, New York, NY
Recording Engineer: Jan-Erik Kongshaug
Original Mix Engineers: Jan-Erik Kongshaug, Rob Eaton
Remix Engineer (2005): Peter Karam
Remastered (2005) by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound
Assistant Engineer: Jon Goldberger
Production Assitants: David Oakes, Niki Gatos

All tracks composed by Ornette Coleman, except tracks 9, 11-13 composed by Ornette Coleman / Pat Metheny. Improv form on tracks 1 and 3 by Pat Metheny.

LP Design by Norman Moore
Re-design by Doyle Partners
Photography by David A. Cantor

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