Archive for February, 2014

New albums: Metheny and Ballard


Good start to the year with new releases from Pat Metheny, presenting a slightly augmented Unity Band, and drummer Jeff Ballard. Between the two of them, these albums present a wide array of styles and exceptional musicianship from everyone involved. In all honesty, I had not been anticipating either album with any real eagerness, but found myself very pleasantly surprised with both.

I gave a somewhat mixed review to the first Pat Metheny Unity Band album. The band, with Chris Potter on saxophone, Ben Williams on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums, is certainly very talented and it’s not hard to find impressive technical feats on that album, yet I found some of it surprisingly sterile and it had the tendency of taking it’s own conceits a bit too seriously. Pat has come out with a second Unity Band album, the frustratingly titled “Kin <–>”, with the new addition of multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, which I find much more engaging than the first time around.

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