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Unity Band by Pat Metheny
Released: Jun 2012
Label: Nonesuch
Unity Band is a quartet made up of Metheny's guitar, as well as a bassist, drummer and sax player. Could it be the sequel to 80/81, a set beloved even by those who don't dig Metheny's softer side? Sort of. While there's nothing as free-sounding as "Open" here, Chris Potter is a worthy inheritor of the role once shared by Mike Brecker and Dewey Redman. His solos give the Unity Band a toughness that distinguishes it from the Pat Metheny Group (from which drummer Antonio Sanchez hails). Metheny is in fine form, too, whether playing acoustic or electric: a comfort, if not a revelation.
Seth Colter Walls

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