(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Midwestern Nights Dream” (1976)

Share this:

The key to “Midwestern Nights Dream” lies in the introspective introduction. In fact, its first two chords. They create a quiet, descending arc that when expanded upon gives a sense of falling. When people use the cliché that Metheny’s music is too “pretty,” I want to point them here, because that first minute or so provides a very early (career-wise) counterexample. With another guitar holding an arpeggio in the background, Pat surrounds those two chords with both chime and a few bits of blooming dissonance. If you’re paying attention, there’s more than a little bit of darkness and foreboding.

And then the full trio kicks in to run with that falling/climbing theme. Halfway through Bright Size Life and I fear I may run out of superlatives. Bob Moses’ work on the cymbals is incredibly sensitive; Jaco seems to have gotten inside of Pat’s head, playing lines that manage to summon endless, perfect inversions of the underlying harmonic material.

I don’t go many weeks (if even days) without listening to this album, but this recently opportunity to re-explore it with some close listening (thank you Mr. Sennheiser) has brought home again just how much opportunity there was in this lineup. No wonder Pat looks back on those sessions so wistfully.

Up next: Unquity Road

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B000W18HJ8″ container=”B00136LTXM” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000W1Q60A” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0000261L9″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Share this:
Close