Joe Stoddart previews the Pat Metheny Unity Group, appearing at Hammersmith Apollo Wednesday June 11th. Joe writes:
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One of the most prolific performers and recording artists in jazz over the last 40 years, Pat Metheny returns to London for a show on 11th June at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith. He will be performing with the Unity Group in support of this year’s album ‘Kin (←→)’. The album is the group’s second and a follow-up to 2012’s Grammy award winning ‘Unity Band’. The line-up has been expanded since then with Italian multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi joining Chris Potter, Ben Williams and Antonio Sanchez on saxes, bass and drums respectively.
According to Metheny, the idea of expanding the line-up was to enable the album to be ‘more like the Technicolour, IMAX version of what a band like this could be’. On the album, this approach is particularly successful in the swirling, building textural crescendos in pieces such as ‘Sign Of The Season’ and title track ‘Kin (←→)’, the latter underpinned by some sensational drumming by Sanchez.
Metheny has described the group both as ‘life-changing’ and ‘one of the strongest bands I’ve ever had’ while also saying that with this new line-up ‘Just about anything will be possible’.
Below is a short preview video of the album and tour. Tickets for the London show are HERE
This will be an amazing gig. Reviews during their USA leg of the KIN Tour, and now in Europe since about a month, have been nothing less than outstanding. Gigs lasting up to 3.5 hours, encore galore, are a testement to Metheny's contribution to not only jazz, but great music too.