The Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo, presents Pat Metheny Unity Group on Wednesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.
Last year, for the first time since 1980, guitarist Pat Metheny recorded with a band that highlighted tenor saxophone. Unity Band, which went on to win Metheny his 20th Grammy Award, featured Chris Potter on sax and bass clarinet, longtime collaborator Antonio Sanchez on drums, and Ben Williams on bass. Now, Metheny has added another musician, multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, and christened the ensemble Pat Metheny Unity Group. The act's first record, "KIN (←→)," was released by Nonesuch Feb. 4.
Metheny said of this new group, "The core quartet of Chris, Ben, Antonio and me played more than 100 concerts over the year that followed the release of our Unity Band record. Over the course of that period, the band became one of those rare combinations of players where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; it gelled in every way, and that just seemed to beg for expansion and further research."
"Simultaneously, I had been itching to write using more of a lush and orchestrated kind of concept that went beyond the sonic limits of what a straight-ahead quartet might invoke," he said. "But I really didn't want to lose the energy, focus and intensity of what this band had developed. I wanted to take it further. If the first Unity Band record was a thoughtful, black and white documentary of four musicians in a recording studio playing, this record is more like the Technicolor, IMAX version of what a band like this could be - but with that hardcore thing still sitting right in the middle of it all."
Over the course of more than three decades, Metheny has set himself apart from the jazz mainstream, expanding and blurring boundaries and musical styles. His record-setting body of work includes 20 Grammy Awards in 12 separate categories; a series of influential trio recordings; award-winning solo albums; scores for hit Hollywood motion pictures; and collaborations and duets with major artists such as Ornette Coleman, Steve Reich, Charlie Haden and Brad Mehldau. His band, the Pat Metheny Group, founded in 1977, is the only ensemble in history to win Grammys for seven consecutive releases.
Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office (weekdays) and tickets.com. To charge tickets, call 1-888-223-6000. For more information, call 716-645-2787 or visit www.ubcfa.org or www.patmetheny.com.