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Kin (<-->)

142 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 4, 2014
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Kin (<-->) + Unity Band + What's It All About
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Editorial Reviews

In 2012, 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. Metheny added another musician, multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, and christened the ensemble Pat Metheny Unity Group. Their first record is Kin ( ). The vinyl includes two 140-gram LPs pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany, and a CD of the album.

Metheny says of this 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.

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Digital Booklet: Kin (<-->)
Digital Booklet: Kin (<-->)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 4, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00GZ6L48U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,936 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Scott on February 4, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First, let me say that I may not be the most impartial critic, having followed Pat Metheny, PMG, etc., since I was 16 listening to American Garage (let's just say over 30 years). I've realized at points that Pat Metheny has provided a soundtrack of sorts to my family's life. OK, you've been warned. I preordered this a few weeks ago, and this morning I got up at 6 a.m. to help get the kids off and found the mp3 in my cloud. On it went, full blast, and my first impression is that it is everything Metheny says: going from a black and white documentary with Unity Band to a full imax surround sound effect with this. Oh yes. I love the Unity Band album before this one and think it's the best thing he's done in years. This one does build on the first and builds in BIG ways, aiming at that lush, orchestral Pat Metheny Group sound. But while the comparison to the former PMG sound will be tempting, I find this has its own character, which owes itself not only to Metheny's composing, but the contributions of the incredible musicians he plays with. Antonio Sanchez is an animal on this! Chris Potter's sax (along with other winds) is dazzling. Ben Williams is a more muscular Steve Rodby on bass, with some great solos. And Giulio Carmassi, the multi-instrumentalist whose Youtube videos are favorites of my music-crazy kids, fills in every possible crack with some beautiful sounds. With all this, Metheny brings some of his orchestrionics into the mix. SO--big, full, dramatic, driving, lush music with huge crescendos and powerful solos. One more note: I love the ongoing influence of minimalist composer Steve Reich in Pat Metheny's music. You can hear it here at points. As much as I am devoted to jazz, I feel that Metheny's work goes beyond genre and profoundly touches broader cultural elements.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By ianinspain on February 5, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Sorry, Amazon, but I bought this by digital download from Nonesuch Records at 3 o'clock this morning, and then spent the rest of the night rapt. You will probably only pick this up if you're a Metheny fan to start off with, but let me tell you, it's the finest work I think he's done since 'Secret Story', I am unashamedly biased where Pat's concerned. I have every official, PM & PMG release, plus a goodly proportion of his sideman sessions, this however takes the game up to a whole new level. If you don't laugh out loud at the sheer brilliance of these tunes, you have no soul. Start anywhere, shuffle the tracks, play them in order, who cares! It's GENIUS throughout, Having heard Pat with various sax players, Chris Potter hits the spot, Antonio Sanchez continues to make me shake my head in disbelief at his rhythmicality, (Is that a word?), Ben Williams anchors and flies high at one and the same time, real shades of Charlie Haden in there somewhere. Then there's the new boy, Giulio Carmassi, not just an imitation of Lyle Mays, but thankfully his own man, all players at the top of their game. Favourite part, so far, the beginning to 'Rise Up', truly outrageous playing. Pat's solos are still unpredictable but always within the boundaries of his music, no free atonal squealing here. Altogether, only an artist with the years and the mileage of Pat Metheny could have have brought together such a feast for the ears, and he seems to be getting better and better. Thanks Pat and your merry band, you've made my year, already.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By the mero merovingian on February 5, 2014
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
If you've been listening to Pat Metheny Group then you know that Pat leans toward through composed pieces that allow room for interpretative soloing + often thundering/syncopated conclusions that use voice for emotion and tension.

The Unity Group to me is a continuation of that tradition, if not more so a major contribution to American Jazz. I believe that the music of Pat Metheny is continuing the long trek upwards towards establishing American Jazz as THE modern equivalent of classical chamber music, a journey that began with Duke Ellington's spirited musical storytelling during the war years and has reached the level of cathartic synthesis found in Metheny's music.

The PMUG is more muscular and expansive than the earlier PMG. The compositions are more intricate and the playing is perhaps more advanced. I would imagine this is because of the presence of Chris Potter who has a presence in the music with shadows of the mighty John Coltrane (not so much Coltrane's fat throaty sound but more so his maximalist approach to improvisation). The rest of the band crushes the music and Metheny and Potter benefit from the wide platform.

Not to be missed is the mournful, bluesy, country at heart, late night Americana tune Born. The title track Kin is dark with intent that has echoes of Au Lait from the 1981 Album Offramp. Sign of the Season brilliantly captures a sense of density, destiny, and curiosity that reminds this listener of the wonder and intense beauty of Debussy's Prelude D'apres Midi d'une Faune.

On Day One has that almost hard bop groove that you hear PMG employ on the tune So Let it Secretly Begin. Otherwise the similarity ends as the pathway and destination of this tune is far removed from the former.
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Kin (&#60;--&#62;)
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