Wednesday, March 5, 2014

CD Review: The Pat Metheny Unity Group Work With "Kin" And Mark Rivera Finds A "Common Bond"

American jazz guitarist Pat Metheny has enjoyed a 37 year career as the bandleader of the Pat Metheny Group. Two years ago, he revised the Pat Metheny Group, adding Antonio Sanchez (drums), Ben Williams (bass) and Chris Potter (sax) and in turn creating the Pat Metheny Unity Group. The band won a Grammy last year for the "Best Jazz Instrumental Album," and now the band are releasing their second album together entitled "Kin," which features multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi.

The new nine-song album begins with the band stretching out and feeling their way through the fifteen minutes of "On Day One." Pat takes the lead with his masterful strumming on the twelve-minute "Rise Up" that showcases Sanchez's influence on the song's rhythm. The all-too-quick, laid-back acoustic fueled "Adagia" gets revisited toward the end of the album with the wonderful soulful sounds of "Born." The album closes with the band coming together for the big, epic feel of "We Go On" and the sneaky, classic jazz of "Kqu" led by Potter's wonderful sax expressions.

The new album was released on February 3rd through Nonesuch Records. The Pat Metheny Unity Group is currently on tour, hitting the east coast mid-March. To find out more, please visit
Multi-talented American musician Mark Rivera is finally releasing his debut solo album entitled "Common Bond." Rivera is best known as a member of Billy Joel's band. He has also performed with Ringo Starr, Elton John, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and a list of others. On this release, Rivera showcases his talents as a rock musician and also asks some of his friends to lend him a hand.

The album begins with the country stomp of "Loraine" as Rivera comes to the forefront with his rich vocals. Rivera and his band flashback to the early days or rock with the sixties sounding "Start Over," then pull off a hard-hitting rocking versions of Jimi Hendrix's "Spanish Castle Magic," which includes a guest appearance from Billy Joel. Ringo Starr and Robert Randolph help out on the funky feel of "Money, Money, Money" and Nils Lofgren lends his guitar skills to the jazzy mellow rock of "Hard To Let Go." The album closes with the trio of Rivera, Karen Manno (keyboards) and Steve Lukather (guitar) on the atmospheric, progressive feel of "Rise."

Mark Rivera is currently on tour with Billy Joel. To find out more about his new album "Common Bond," please visit his website at

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