9 Songs, 1 Hour 10 Minutes

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 Carmassi 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 Carmassi 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.

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 Carmassi 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 Carmassi 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.

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