'The Unity Sessions' [Blu-ray]
(Pat Metheny / Blu ray / NR / 2015 / Eagle Vision)
Overview: 'Pat Metheny - The Unity Sessions' finds the 20 time Grammy winning guitarist and the youngest member of the Downbeat Hall of Fame at the helm of one of his best bands ever as they wrap up a 150 date world tour with an intimate studio performance filmed in a small New York City theater.
Blu ray Verdict: One of the most original guitarists from the '80s onward, Pat Metheny is a chance-taking player who has gained great popularity - but also taken some wild detours along the way. His records with the Pat Metheny Group are difficult to describe (perhaps they are folk-jazz, or even mood music), but manage to be both accessible and original, stretching the boundaries of jazz and making Metheny famous regardless.
Now, for all those asking, no, this is NOT a live concert show. That said, it has that appeal to it, that filmed approach that it might just well be a love letter to Metheny's fans. The band plays at its peak, and is amazing throughout, just as you would expect. The close ups are breathtakingly crystal clear, the digital music personified at its finest, no matter what song you are listening to.
Indeed, Metheny purposely set out to take a different approach to this "live" recording. Rather than recording a live show, per say, he puts himself and the other members of the Unity group on a stage with camera operators on the stage. His goal, he says in the liner notes, was to provide the viewer something like the experience of the musicians on stage.
These 'Unity Sessions' are incredible here on Blu-ray, and bring forth a quite amazing performance from one and all. Whether you are a fan or not, tracks such as the opener, 'Genealogy,' 'This Belongs To You,' 'Kin,' or even 'Rise Up,' 'Sign Of The Season,' or both 'Cherokee' or 'Police People,' will have even the most causal of observers wondering where they can by Metheny's musical catalog from! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of a Bonus Interview with Pat Metheny.