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Kin (<-->)

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Editors’ Notes

Despite his enduring popularity, guitarist Pat Metheny changes concepts nearly as often as he switches guitars. Newish efforts run from the mechanized analog of Orchestrion to the John Zorn tribute Tap to two albums with Brad Mehldau. Here on his follow up to the Unity Group’s self-titled debut, Metheny adds multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmasso to an impressive crew of saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Antonio Sanchez. While the last Unity effort was more about a jazz quartet playing Metheny’s meticulous compositions, the Carmasso addition pushes the quintet further toward the uplifting melodies, dense textures, and poppy structural underpinnings previously done by the dormant Pat Metheny Group. As with the old band, there are long through-composed passages at times (the hard-charging “On Day One” and “Adagia” segueing into “Sign of the Season”). But there’s also nimble musicianship from the entire band as well (particularly on the title cut). Metheny the soloist remains as engaging as ever (never better than on the ballad “h”), making Kin (<—>) another highlight of recent vintage.

Customer Reviews

Pat's Greatest Album in Nearly a Decade

Not since 2005's "The Way Up" has Pat Metheny produced as incredibly expansive and expressive an album as Kin (<-->) is.

Long-time Metheny fans will recognize a lot of elements of his past work in here, especially his recent projects--including Unity Band, Tap, and Orchestrion--as well as a lot of great elements from the earlier PMG albums. But despite originating from the DNA of 2012's "Unity Band," the Unity Group sound goes far beyond that benchmark, creating a new whole that is exponentially greater than the sum of its parts.

On this album, we are introduced yet again to another new side of Pat Metheny that is even more wide-ranging and mature, yet more adventurous and courageous. And Pat doesn't steal the show either--all of the band members stand out equally and combine their talents together to make some absolutely stunning music together.

There isn't a dull track anywhere on this album; in fact, the pieces play off of each other so well that you've just gotta buy the entire album, plug in some headphones, and play it straight through. The beauty and depth of this album is awe striking, and some of the moments in this album will simply make your jaw drop at how breathtaking they are.

I can't wait to see what's next for the Pat Metheny Unity Group. One thing's for sure: with this album, they have set the bar incredibly high.

Born Again

I was skeptical that Pat & Unity crew could pull off the Orchesrtral sound that I'd been missing since the PMG days. It was done in a new and effective way with a bonus touch of Pats Orchestration. Antonio was unbelievable and the best I've heard him. All players shine...Too bad that some reviewers seem to take out their missing of Lyle to giving poor rating on a wonderful record which I'd rate in the top 5 of Pats career. Born is one of Pats most emotional tunes to date and my favorite on here. Kin, We Go On are standouts for me as well.

Sounds like a great return to Pat's PMG sensibilities

Really sounds good with melodies and structure finally returning to front and center.

VERY much looking forward to this release.

Sounds very good.

Curious: What does Lyle do in his spare time?


Born: August 12, 1954 in Lee's Summit, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most original guitarists from the '80s onward (he is instantly recognizable), Pat Metheny is a chance-taking player who has gained great popularity but also taken some wild left turns. His records with the Pat Metheny Group are difficult to describe (folk-jazz? mood music?) but manage to be both accessible and original, stretching the boundaries of jazz and making Metheny famous enough that he could perform whatever type of music he wanted without losing his audience. Metheny (whose...
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