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Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival

“Reunion” was the watchword for the 40th annual Detroit Jazz Festival, which welcomed back five of its former artists-in-residence for the occasion. But one unwelcome reunion threatened the fest’s culminating performance on Labor Day, as storm clouds once again gathered prior to Stanley Clarke’s final set—as they had in both 2014 and 2017, when the … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival”

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Live Review: 2018 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert

The themes of intergenerational support and the power of community rang loud and clear throughout the celebration of the 2018 class of NEA Jazz Masters, held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on April 16. The recipients—pianist Joanne Brackeen, guitarist Pat Metheny, vocalist Dianne Reeves and impresario Todd Barkan—basked in the glow of a … Read More “Live Review: 2018 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert”

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Review: Pat Metheny at the Mahaffey Theater

For those of a certain age and musical bent, recollecting certain life events is made easier by pointing to release dates of Pat Metheny albums. Has it really been nearly four decades since I was a college freshman, blasting 1979’s American Garage, with its rock-edged textures and guitar bravado (and inimitable Airstream-park cover), from my … Read More “Review: Pat Metheny at the Mahaffey Theater”

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Pat Metheny: The Unity Sessions

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 … Read More “Pat Metheny: The Unity Sessions”

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Pat Metheny: The Unity Sessions

The Unity Sessions strives to capture the connections, both musical and extramusical, shared by the members of guitarist Pat Metheny’s most recent working group, the Unity Band: saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Antonio Sanchez and keyboardist/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi. Metheny wanted to document the musical and human rapport developing within the unit, but he … Read More “Pat Metheny: The Unity Sessions

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Pat Metheny: Hommage à Eberhard Weber

During the 1980s, guitarist-composer Pat Metheny became one of the most popular jazz musicians alive by leading a band whose melodies and textures seemed tailor-made for the nighttime air of a sprawling amphitheater. In more recent years, his small-group tours have been more consistent and satisfying than most primetime rock acts could manage. And then … Read More “Pat Metheny: Hommage à Eberhard Weber”

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