This successor to the Grammy-winning Kin – styled as Kin (??) – was recorded last year while the Metheny group, with prodigious saxophonist Chris Potter, was still hot from a 150-gig tour. The Unity Band lets Metheny develop new music and revisit old favourites, so an exquisite solo-guitar medley of his famous themes features alongside reworkings of the Kin (??) tracklist, covers of the classic jazz vehicle Cherokee, and a jubilantly hooting account of Ornette Coleman’s Police People. Roofdogs, with Metheny and Potter wailing like sirens and Antonio Sanchez’s cymbal chime and lashing offbeats driving them on, is more urgently thrilling than it was on Kin (??), and there’s a generally exhilarating sense of freedom here, notably in improv exchanges between the players and with Metheny’s one-man-band Orchestrion machine, that testifies to how attuned constant gigging has made them.
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