PAT METHENY, UNITY BAND

It’s been a long 30 years since guitarist Pat Metheny has recorded with a saxophonist (Michael Brecker and Dewey Redman on ECM’s “80/81”.) He returns to the format on “Unity Band,” with a transcendent quartet of top musicians. It says a lot that Chris Potter is the saxophonist that inspired Metheny to revisit a band featuring a tenor/guitar combination. “Unity Band” (Nonesuch) continues Metheny’s brilliant strategy of assembling contrasting players that click as a whole. Here, it’s a jazz trinity of movers and shakers -- Potter on sax and bass clarinet, in-the-pocket bassist Ben Williams and Antonio Sanchez on drums – that brings Metheny’s dramatic compositions to life, like the pumping “Come And See” and blustery, hyped-up energy of “Breakdealer.”  Most tunes on “Unity Band” are hard to resist and multiple listening reveals layers of dazzling musical intricacies. Metheny best tunes wear their romanticism on their sleeve and “New Year” finds that trait in full bloom with the leader gracefully playing nylon string guitar, while “Come And See” gives us a groove-based track that swells with typical Metheny beauty. Part of Metheny’s appeal (he’s won 19 Grammy® Awards) is his fearless creativity to produce new sounds and sonic textures. “Unity Band” shines in this regard. The album is masterly programmed and sustained -- ballads brush up against jubilant riffs and whether Metheny is playing electric, acoustic, synths or his steampunky bit of mechanical wizardry called Orchestrionics on “Signals,” this dense and rewarding endeavor preserves the guitarist’s unmistakable sound with a fresh band that continuously slingshots the album to remarkable highs. www.patmetheny.com

Labels: , , , , ,

JAZZ IN SPACE: PAT METHENY, UNITY BAND

Thursday, August 2, 2012

PAT METHENY, UNITY BAND

It’s been a long 30 years since guitarist Pat Metheny has recorded with a saxophonist (Michael Brecker and Dewey Redman on ECM’s “80/81”.) He returns to the format on “Unity Band,” with a transcendent quartet of top musicians. It says a lot that Chris Potter is the saxophonist that inspired Metheny to revisit a band featuring a tenor/guitar combination. “Unity Band” (Nonesuch) continues Metheny’s brilliant strategy of assembling contrasting players that click as a whole. Here, it’s a jazz trinity of movers and shakers -- Potter on sax and bass clarinet, in-the-pocket bassist Ben Williams and Antonio Sanchez on drums – that brings Metheny’s dramatic compositions to life, like the pumping “Come And See” and blustery, hyped-up energy of “Breakdealer.”  Most tunes on “Unity Band” are hard to resist and multiple listening reveals layers of dazzling musical intricacies. Metheny best tunes wear their romanticism on their sleeve and “New Year” finds that trait in full bloom with the leader gracefully playing nylon string guitar, while “Come And See” gives us a groove-based track that swells with typical Metheny beauty. Part of Metheny’s appeal (he’s won 19 Grammy® Awards) is his fearless creativity to produce new sounds and sonic textures. “Unity Band” shines in this regard. The album is masterly programmed and sustained -- ballads brush up against jubilant riffs and whether Metheny is playing electric, acoustic, synths or his steampunky bit of mechanical wizardry called Orchestrionics on “Signals,” this dense and rewarding endeavor preserves the guitarist’s unmistakable sound with a fresh band that continuously slingshots the album to remarkable highs. www.patmetheny.com

Labels: , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home