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Kin (<-->)

Kin (<-->)

3 Feb 2014
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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  • Sample this album
    Title by Artist
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1
15:15
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2
11:56
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3
2:14
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4
10:14
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5
11:06
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6
7:51
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7
0:38
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8
5:33
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9
Kqu
Kqu
5:25
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Digital Booklet: Kin (<-->)
Digital Booklet: Kin (<-->)
Album Only

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 Feb. 2014
  • Release Date: 3 Feb. 2014
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:10:12
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00HWLPYSI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,858 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I’d been looking forward to this release for some time. It’s been 9 years since we heard Pat Metheny with a full group alongside him and while comparisons of this new constellation with the erstwhile Pat Metheny Group may be a bit unfair they’re simply unavoidable.

On the whole I think it’s a decent album. I can definitely appreciate the artistry that went into it. I’m just not moved by it though, not in the way past Metheny group albums have moved me. I’m not so sure it merits all the hype and breathless praise that seems to be whirling around on social media about it.

The first thing I noticed about the album was the way it sounds (obvs). I’m not a musician and I’m no expert on sound engineering but I’m going to hazard a guess that it’s down to the way it was mixed, presumably to give the recording a more ‘live’ feel.

It works and on the plus side, there’s a feeling of immediacy to the album. It literally sounds like the group is playing in my living room. On the downside though, the luxuriance and diversity of the soundscapes provided to us by previous recordings are not present here. The sound also gets a bit messy in places. Unlike with the PMG where I would always get the sense that, even in improvised parts, every single note played was carefully placed where it was placed for a reason, I don’t always get that sense with this group.

Don’t get me wrong; these are all excellent musicians. Sanchez is literally jaw-dropping and I’m a huge fan of Chris Potter. But does the whole add up to more than the sum of its parts? Do they actually make a cohesive unit? Do they have real chemistry together? I’m not so sure. At times I can’t make out whether I’m listening to a Chris Potter album or a Pat Metheny one. With all due respect to Potter, is that good?
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Every record Metheny puts out is different and it takes time to absorb what he has put in front of us rather than measuring the work against your expectations as a fan and listener. Expectations were very high for what seemed like would be his most major release and tour since The Way Up.

The man is of course a wonderful composer, with tracks like Are You Going With Me and So May It Secretly Begin in his back catalogue, and even the first Unity Band recording having several great compositions, to name just one, the opening track New Year.

I don't feel the tracks on this record will ever feature on a list of his greatest compositions (the gospel-like 'Born' being the strongest candidate), they work better as loose frameworks from which a group of incredibly talented musicians break out for extended solos which are, in turn, lyrical, reflective, incendiary and hard-swinging.

Chris Potter is on fire throughout as you would expect from his last outing with the Unity Band. I would single out his hook-filled, gutsy solo on track 2 as a highlight.

Ben Williams comes to the fore on several occasions, most remarkably on the (six string?) electric bass solo on the first track, which sounds like he has completely absorbed Metheny's own musicality. But he also features on acoustic bass, for example in the beautiful, reflective section with the piano on track 4.

Giulio Carmassi mostly provides extra texture. There is only one point where the vocals really come to the fore - at the end of the first track - but this is a wonderful and moving climax to a track that has already featured extended solos from Metheny, Williams and Potter, and so Carmassi caps what could well be the highlight of the whole record.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Methenys work has matured in its sophistication and subtlety over the years. Be in no doubt that this is not an immediately involving listen, but by the forth or fith listen a work of great quality reveals itself. There are no crowd pleasing tunes and few straight forward time signatures but this is a great CD and one of Methenys best.

I can't see Metheny reuniting the old group now he has this band. He's always been about exploration and progress and although on first listen this sounds like old ground, the devil is in the detail. There is so much music here, so much invention and lateral thinking, these compositions weren't written overnight and the band must have rehearsed for weeks before the recording dates.

Buy this cd but don't expect immediate gratification. Stick with it. It's well worth it.
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Format: MP3 Download
Five UNIFYING Stars! Multiple Grammy-winning and Hall of Fame guitarist/leader Pat Metheny's 'Unity Band' was a great group where Metheny surrounded himself with a wonderful trio of inspirational young musicians, produced a marvelous Grammy-winning record, and stormed the clubs of the world on a 100+ date tour to show them off. He has brought them back and upped the ante by adding one multi-instrumentalist who can 'shape shift' between strings, brass, reeds, keyboards and vocals adding a new sonic palette to the already wide Metheny mix (especially when you add in the electronic Orchestrion). This recording is literally taking the group `back to the future' of Metheny's fusion days, but it's all new and inspiring to the group members, so it's very fresh sounding and exciting. Seemingly wrapped around a unifying thematic subjective `the family of man', many 'world music' influences abound in every nook and cranny of this recording. Back are polyrhythmic master drummer Antonio Sanchez, Chris Potter and his arsenal of tenor and soprano saxes and bass clarinet, upright and electric bass star Ben Williams' solid bottom underpinnings, and the new member Giulio Carmassi, who fits nicely into the group like the 5th finger in a glove. Metheny has bravely stated he is after a unifying sound that encapsulates all of his music going back as far as his "Song X" Ornette Coleman days and moving forward through his fusion days. It's risky, but he has for the most part achieved that lofty goal with the release of "Kin (<-->)", although at times frankly it's not easy guessing who is playing what instrument, outside of the apparent guitar, sax, bass, and drum parts. And Carmassi's background piano `comping' is indeed a welcome new sound for this group.Read more ›
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