(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Unquity Road” (1976)

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Here we almost have a traditional jazz tune with the head being played followed by the expected improvisations. But on “Unquity Road,” Pat and Jaco work in a kind of near-unison.

They play off of each other with Jaco’s occasional slight deviations giving the theme all that much more energy.

In the wrong hands this idea might fall flat but Metheny’s composition, built on series of rapid chord changes presented in a three-note motif, gives a feeling of almost inevitable forward motion.

This is also the first Bright Size Life track where Pat really lets loose on a solo, working in (what would become his signature) chiming arpeggios along with a few very un-jazzlike peaks. No solo for Jaco here but there’s so much bass going on that you’d hardly notice.

Up next: Omaha Celebration

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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