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Unity Band

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iTunes Review

Over his impressive career, superstar guitarist Pat Metheny has lead parallel bands—the electrified Pat Metheny Group and acoustic-oriented units—with ever-changing rosters. The latter ensembles have boasted everyone from veterans like drum legend Roy Haynes and pioneering alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman to younger talent such as bassist Christian McBride and drummer Bill Stewart. For his Unity Band, Metheny brings along drummer Antonio Sanchez from his last trio, along with a few surprising choices—the influential tenor saxophonist/multi-reeds player Chris Potter and twentysomething double bassist Ben Williams. There’s a fully involved quartet sound on all nine Metheny originals, whether it’s the pastoral “New Year,” the gorgeous “This Belongs to You,” or the frenetic “Breakdealer.” Unity Band comes with a five-page digital booklet.

Customer Reviews

It's no 80/81

Just listened to the new recording's ok. Pat's website kept mentioning the 80/81 album when talking about this forthcoming record and I have to say it's a far cry from the genius of 80/81. These are all great players but my problem with Pat's music these days is that it has become somewhat formulaic. His compositions and his playing seem to have become a bit stagnant. He follows the same peaks and valleys and it sounds like he's just churning out tunes for the heck of it. There doesn't seem to be much true inspiration behind the music. 80/81 was a record of incredible beauty and guts. I fear we will never get another composition from him as beautiful as Every Day (I ThankYou). I wish Pat would sometime again use the tuning on the acoustic guitar that he used on Two Folk Songs (he tuned the lower four stings up an octave which made for some great strumming on the first of the Two Folk Songs). I also wish he would drag that Gibson ES-175 Hollowbody out of retirement - he's never sounded as good as he did when he was playing that wonderful guitar - toothbrush and all.

Pat is still a great musician - I just miss the inspiration that was there in those early days.

Sound and fury, signifying nothing

I've been listening to Metheny for 30 years or so, and have many of his albums. This new release represents his "meandering, shapeless" side, which is one facet of his musical persona. No themes you can recall, just long, spun-out melodies going nowhere, or bursts of virtuosic runs (usually by everyone at once). The "Signals" piece sounds like four schizophrenics jamming in a bicycle repair shop. There is no question that these guys are phenomenal musicians. I think the only way I could enjoy this is in live performance, where I am focusing on nothing but the musicianship and the interaction of the players. But as an "at-home" listening experience, I can't think of an occasion that I would want to hear these songs again. On the other hand, I have listened to Pat's solo guitar recordings multiple times, and even the recent "Orchestrion" which had some novelty value. If you're into Pat's improvisational, spontaneous stuff, this is for you.

An Amazing Album

Every track is a winner! As a keyboardist I thought I would miss the keyboards. I don't! The saxophone fits in perfectly. This is the closest recording yet to a PMG album. I can't wait to hear and see the Unity Band live.


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...
Full Bio
Unity Band, Pat Metheny
View in iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jun 08, 2012

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