What I’m Listening to Wednesday – Pat Metheny Unity Group ‘Kin’

Pat Metheny Unity Group - Kin

I know a lot of people like to do things like ‘what I ate’ or ‘what I wore’ as their Wednesday focus, but neither of those are focal point issues for me. What is it that excites me on a regular basis?!? MUSIC!

Lately I have been doing a ‘Five Things Friday’ that makes my sprawling ‘Friday Playlist’ a bit superfluous in terms of content and effort required … so I was thinking a more focused approach would work better.

My goal now is to select one recent release each week – like I did with the Mary Halvorson Thumbscrew album – and share a bit about why I am enjoying it.

This week it is ‘Kin’ by the Pat Metheny Unity Group

Here is the press info:

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.”

Let me get one thing out right away – many Metheny fans long for another TRUE ‘Pat Metheny Group’ recording bringing back Lyle Mays. I have no idea if this will ever happen … but this is clearly what Metheny envisions as his next step in that direction. From the original Unity Band he has added multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, who contributes piano amongst other things.

The synergy between the group members is tremendous, and the compositions have evolved from the ‘Unity Band’ recording as Metheny has developed a palette for the group that allows them to stretch out within the intricately constructed frameworks of his compositions.

Choosing a single song at this point is tough, and everything from ‘On Day One’ to teh haunting ‘Kqu’ merits and rewards multiple listens. The opening sprawl of ‘Rise Up’ evokes ‘First Circle’ era PMG, but this is no nostalgia trip! Perhaps my favorite right now is the title track, which shows off the brilliance of all of the players and the compositions.

You can read more details at the Pat Matheny site, and also at the official Nonesuch Records site. Nonesuch also has the album for sale ($11 MP3, $12 FLAC, $16 CD+MP3, $25 LP+CD+MP3) along with song previews.

The album is available on iTunes and Amazon, and also streaming on Rdio and Spotify and probably elsewhere.

Here is the official preview video:

And here is a fan video of the group live in 2012:

So … what is YOUR jam this Wednesday?

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