Review & Photos | Bruce Hornsby & Pat Metheny | Kansas City

Words by: McClain Johnson
Images by: Phil Clarkin

Pat Metheny Unity Group and Bruce Hornsby with Sonny Emory :: 7.26.14 :: Crossroads :: Kansas City, MO

Read McClain's review below Phil's gallery!

On a hot, humid night, at Crossroads KC, two musical masters displayed their skills together and with their solo bands. The Campfire Tour 2014 featured guitar virtuoso Pat Metheny and pianist Bruce Hornsby. Metheny focused on showcasing the full- bodied sound of his new group, the Pat Metheny Unity Group. Bruce Hornsby used a more stripped down, duo set up, with drummer Sonny Emory. Both Metheny and Hornsby utilized different approaches, but their skill and joy at playing music came through.

Bruce Hornsby showed off his considerable piano skills throughout his 45-minute set. The show had a very laid-back, communal feeling. The sit-ins came right away, as Metheny joined Bruce for his first three songs. He added more texture and depth to Hornsby's hit “The Valley Road.”

[Bruce Hornsby performs "The Way It Is" With Pat Metheny Unity Group a few nights later]

At 9 p.m., Metheny stepped onstage and delivered a two-hour set displaying his skills and interplay within the Unity Band. “Folk Song #1” used subtle, shifting textures, centered around Metheny's expressive guitar lines. “Police People” focused on mixing rock and jazz styles. A highlight of the show was the title track to the new album, Kin. Saxophonist Chris Potter matched Metheny's winding sonic explorations within “Kin.” Multi- instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi helped push the track into Latin-tinged territory. The song was a perfect mix of instrumental prowess and creative risk-taking. Hornsby sat in on several songs with the Unity Group, adding his piano abilities to the mix.

Hornsby displayed his skills in a duo format and Metheny framed his abilities within a larger group. Both contrasting approaches were successful. Throughout the night, Pat Metheny and Bruce Hornsby proved that they are exceptional instrumentalists with a lot to say and endless creativity.

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[Published on: 7/31/14]

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