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4.4 out of 5 stars
Kin (<-->)
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on 17 April 2014
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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on 2 April 2014
It may not be the best Metheny but this is still a high class jazz record. The band is amazing and sincerely I was expecting something more after the the heart breaking - mind blowing release of 2012 (UNITY BAND). We are quite far from that level and honestly the first time I listen to this album I thought "Is that it?", but I have faith in all the musicians I am listening since many years, so despite my initial feeling I kept playing this record a lot. A week later the whole concept of KIN (<->) (what a title btw!) appeared much more different, music started to make more sense and the connections between instruments started to be much more clear. Chris Potter. What to say about this guy? He's probably one of the best saxophone players alive right now and is a big, big part of this album. I've received this album only few weeks ago since I've ordered the vinyl edition and it took ages to get released. I was pleased to find a CD version of the album inside to put it in the car. The recording quality is very good and I am quite pleased with this new work of the Unity Band. Give few more listen to this record, get into it, it's a classy production, I hope the band will come to play live in Netherland sometimes, I am sure watch them live it's the real deal!
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on 14 March 2014
Brilliant Magnificent what more can be said. Since the release of "The Way Up" in 2005 ( which I personally regard as one of the best PMG releases) I have loyally followed the maestro's releases. In my opinion nothing released since 2005 quite matched the the inspiration of the 1990's and the early 2000's. There was an ingredient missing in the music being released. To me that ingredient was Lyle Mays. I longed for another Metheny/Mays release, even wrote to Nonesuch begging them to suggest this to the duo but to no avail.

And then two releases by the newly formed Unity Band. The first release showed a lot of promise but KIN just did it for me. Is this the new PMG reborn. This album reinstates my confidence in Metheny and I am pretty sure will win the next grammy for the band. But is this the end of PMG, has Lyle Mays really been left in the cold after more than twenty years of brilliant Collaboration.........
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on 13 February 2015
Moving towards to group sound. the more complex pieces have moments of being tedious and uncomfortable. There is some indulgent & self absorption within the over complex structures. The simpler pieces have more milage.
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on 22 November 2014
The man is a genius. This sounds even better since I heard it performed live.
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on 11 December 2014
as star rating above
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on 11 November 2015
Great !
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on 18 October 2015
Everything was great.
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on 14 July 2014
'kin ace!
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on 16 February 2014
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.

Antonio Sanchez is as busy, inventive, and driving as ever.

Metheny himself, as expected, provides some wonderful soloing, whether it be the hard swinging electric solo on track 2 or the extended synth solo on track 5, which initially sounds like nothing he hasn't played before, but then progresses to something special and leads into another great break from Potter. Maybe this record isn't the greatest ever showcase of Metheny's talents, he almost seems a little reserved, as though he wants to give his stellar bandmates a chance to shine. But then we are so continually spoiled for examples of his incredible playing, whether it be his exhilarating electric guitar soloing on last year's Tap, or his beautiful acoustic playing with Charlie Haden on the soundtrack of the current film release Living is Easy With Eyes Closed.

This band is going to be amazing live! But, if you're one of those who is going to stand there and moan that Lyle Mays and Pedro Aznar should be on stage with him, or leave to catch the last tube rather than calling for another encore from this most generous of performers, then please don't bother coming. You'll only spoil it for the rest of us who are in thrall with every twist and turn in this man's amazing career.
8 people found this helpful
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