Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Pat Metheny: The Unity Sessions

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Pat Metheny has long been jazz’s most heroic guitarist, but he’s a guitar god with a definite and unabashed affinity for experimentation and the avant-garde. Two recent offerings from Nonesuch, The Unity Sessions and Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny, veer toward each pole of Metheny’s identity while also underscoring the inside-outside nature of nearly everything he does. This is a complete musician.

The Unity Sessions is the audio of an immersive DVD/Blu-ray program of the same name, released last year and recorded in a small New York theater sans audience. Think of it as a live-in-studio document that captures what was one of jazz’s best working units after a surplus of road experience. Metheny’s Unity Group, which flaunts some of the stadium-jazz ideals of the Pat Metheny Group while maintaining the elastic focus of a postbop band, boasts mighty personnel in saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Antonio Sanchez and utility man Giulio Carmassi. But the performances and sound provide the hooks here.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published