Pat Metheny Unity Group's "Kin (←→)" Out Now
Kin (←→), the first album from Pat Metheny Unity Group—Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams, and Giulio Carmassi—is out now on Nonesuch Records. The album was released in the UK yesterday to critical acclaim, earning four-star reviews across the board from Jazzwise, Mojo, Evening Standard, Q, BBC Music, Financial Times, Record Collector, and Hi-Fi News. "Like the best of Metheny's oeuvre," says Mojo, "it takes guitar-led improvisation to new aesthetic levels," with his "eloquent guitar etching a kaleidoscope of sonic hues."
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 (←→), is out now on Nonesuch Records.
To pick up a copy of Kin (←→), head to iTunes or the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl orders include a download of the complete album at check; the album is also availalbe to purchase there as MP3 and FLAC lossless files.
The new album was released in the UK yesterday to critical acclaim, earning four-star reviews across the board from Jazzwise, Mojo, Evening Standard, Q, BBC Music Magazine, Financial Times, Record Collector, and Hi-Fi News.
"These pieces are closer to the romantically inclined, soaring melodicism of the Pat Metheny Group, yet retaining the energy of the Unity Band," says Jazzwise in its four-star review. "It’s a craft duality that makes for this album’s appeal from an artist whose musical curiosity remains undiminished as he approaches his 60th birthday."
"Like the best of Metheny's oeuvre," says Mojo's Charles Waring, "it takes guitar-led improvisation to new aesthetic levels," with Metheny's "eloquent guitar etching a kaleidoscope of sonic hues."
"For guitarists, every new Pat Metheny album is a major event," says the Evening Standard, but he "has outdone himself with this one."
Says Q: "The arrangements and recording are immaculate. In modern jazz terms, a master class."
"Astonishing," exclaims Record Collector. "Another envelope-pushing opus from a pathfinding musician whose talent doesn't recognize boundaries."
You can preview the album here:
The Pat Metheny Unity Group's 44-city North American tour began in Jackson, Mississippi, yesterday, and continues in Florida this week and across the US and Canada for the next two months. The tour heads to Europe for April through June. For additional details and ticket links, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.
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.
Friday, February 10, 2017Friday, February 10, 2017
Rhiannon Giddens's five-song EP Factory Girl, first released on vinyl and digitally in late 2015, is now available on CD for the first time. The EP, which is up for Grammy Awards for Best American Roots Performance and Best Folk Album, is culled from the T Bone Burnett–produced sessions that yielded Giddens's acclaimed solo debut album, Tomorrow Is My Turn. "It's a clutch of tunes that work together like the cards in a winning poker hand," the New York Times says of Factory Girl. "Her accompaniment … points to an ageless gold standard for American roots music." "Deftly curated, gorgeously sung," says NPR, "this EP is America." Her new album, Freedom Highway, is due February 24.
Friday, February 10, 2017Friday, February 10, 2017
The Staves, who kick off a four-week tour of North America next week, release the double A side "Tired As Fuck," a previously unreleased tune, and "Train Tracks," a re-mastered version of a bonus track from their 2015 album If I Was. The former was "written in the midst of a relationship breaking down," says the trio. "Lamenting the lack of some sort of guidance, but also accepting and resigning yourself to fact that you have to soldier on. Keep going. There is no helping hand. 'Train Tracks' is the beginning of something new and how confusing and difficult that can be when you're really just as clueless as anyone! The two tracks bookend each other in that respect." You can watch a video for "Tired As Fuck" here.