The Pat Metheny Unity Group stops at The Shedd on their 2014 world tour. Pat Metheny. Antonio Sanchez. Chris Potter. Ben Williams. And Giulio Camassi. An absolutely extraordinary combination in the intimacy of Jaqua Concert Hall.
“The Unity Band project was life---changing for me” says guitarist Pat Metheny of the Group. “I have led many groups of talented musicians, but what went down with that band on a night after night basis was inspiring in a way that was really unlike anything else. When we did our last gig, as we walked off the stage all I could think about was that I didn’t want it to end, and I knew it was the same for Chris, Antonio and Ben too”
“Since then, I have been trying to find a way to extend our time together. At the same time, I have been feeling the pull to do the kind of lush and harmonically dense music with lots more written material that has always been a big part of what I have written for my larger groups and projects. One night I woke up with the tantalizing idea of really taking “Unity” concept all the way and forming a platform for the first time that could cover the entire spectrum of things that I have done as a bandleader over the years under one roof. With this lineup, everything from Bright Size Life to Secret Story to all of my regular Group stuff to Song X could be within range --- and more. And I expect to further integrate the Orchestrion concept into the fabric of what this band can be as well.”
“An interesting and unique musician appeared on my radar; multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi. He is an excellent piano and keyboard player and he plays fantastic woodwinds and brass, guitars, bass, drums, and he sings beautifully too. He told me he was inspired by seeing one of my bands perform in Italy when he was young and often thought about having the multi-instrumentalist seat on one of my projects. With Giulio added to the core--four of us, with Chris Potter, (in addition to being one of the most exciting soloists in jazz on any instrument and he is also one of the most versatile woodwind players around, playing flute, bass clarinet, clarinet and all the other saxophones), with Ben Williams being equally great on both acoustic and electric basses, and with Antonio Sanchez, one of the greatest drummers in the world right now, this is one of the strongest bands I have ever had. Just about anything will be possible.”