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Pat Metheny Unity Group at Centrepointe Theatre

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Pat Metheny Unity Group Centrepointe Theatre Ottawa, Canada November 12, 2014 “Every time we're planning a tour," he said to the near-sellout crowd at Ottawa, Canada's Centrepointe Theatre, “I always ask 'are we going to play Ottawa?' You think I'm joking..." It's not often that the opportunity arises to catch a group near the beginning and end of a year-long world tour but, after seeing guitarist Pat Metheny's Unity Group at Stavanger, Norway's Mai Jazz Festival in early May, 2014, a second opportunity arose to catch the group's tour in support of Kin ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (<-->)

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Pat Metheny's Unity Group is perfectly named because, in its quintet lineup even more so than the original quartet, the group's approach brings together every musical element the famed guitarist has pursued during the course of his career. Acoustic guitars of the solo projects, dense high-tech arrangements à la Pat Metheny Group, traditional jazz horns recalling 80/81 (ECM, 1980) and vigorous ensemble improvisation hearkening to his various trios all mix on Kin ()'s very first track, “On Day One," and subsequently in varying proportions as the album progresses. The music of The Pat Metheny Unity Group isn't much ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (←→)

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Nine years after the Pat Metheny Group crowned its mammoth The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005) tour before 100,000 people at the Montreal Jazz Festival, it seems increasingly unlikely that Metheny will reconvene his main vehicle, not now with a vibrant new group pushing him compositionally and slaying audiences. Or does it? In a 2012 interview with All About Jazz , drummer Antonio Sanchez--who has worked closely with Metheny for a dozen years--said of the PMG: “everybody is craving another go around." It could yet happen, for the 40th anniversary just around the corner in 2017, for example. In ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Paramount Theater, Denver, March 7, 2014

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Pat Metheny Unity Group Paramount Theater Denver, CO March 7, 2014 The Group is back. Sort of. For virtually his entire career, Pat Metheny has bounced back and forth between the highly successful Pat Metheny Group and a wide array of projects under his own name. Ever since the Group's eponymous 1978 release, the personnel in the Pat Metheny Group constantly evolved. Besides Metheny, however, one player remained constant: keyboard player Lyle Mays; i.e.: no Mays, no PMG. The last Pat Metheny Group album was The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005). Mays and Metheny haven't recorded ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (←→)

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Strangely enough, the release of Kin () may be the one that most polarizes longtime fans of guitarist Pat Metheny. There are those who feel that, beginning with 2005's last recording with his then-longstanding Pat Metheny Group, that he'd become too complex, too chops-heavy and too distanced from the accessible music of recordings like Travels (ECM, 1983) and Still Life (Talking) (Nonesuch, 1987). He further distanced himself from a number of his core constituents with Orchestrion (Nonesuch, 2010), and his superb but even more challenging collaboration with John Zorn on Tap, concurrently released on Nonesuch and Zorn's own Tzadik label. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival 2013

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Crown of the Continent Guitar FestivalBigfork, MontanaAugust 26-31, 2013“Either I'm imaging things, or this festival has grown just a little in the four years since I was here last," Pat Metheny laughed as he squinted into the glare of a brace of theater lights. An SRO crowd of over 900 ecstatic fans crammed into a high-arching, rectangular tent fit for an emir's wedding hooted and clapped in response. The guitar icon's telling comments during his recent concert at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival in tiny Bigfork, jny: Montana provided a quick way to gauge the ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Down Pat

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It has been said of Pat Metheny that if Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, and Charlie Christian had somehow all been involved in fathering a single child, that child would grow up to be pursuing her master's in developmental psychology at Stanford while working as an assistant manager at Border's. Where they sell Pat Metheny CD's. How ironic is that? Not ironic enough, according to Microsoft Word's irony check, which rated this paragraph as only 34.7% as ironic as it could have been and suggested that the child grow up to be Pat Metheny. I reminded Word that the definition of ...



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