(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny Group, “Aprilwind” (1978)

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After all of these years (and all of these listening sessions) it’s hard not to think of “Aprilwind” as being merely the introduction to “April Joy.” But while there’s an obvious thematic intersection between the two compositions, something else is at play here: the continued development of Metheny’s acoustic style that would really take off with the release of New Chautauqua.

This is most evident during the latter half of the tune when Pat is letting the more open-sounding chords extend and dominate the sound. There are a lot of talented acoustic guitar players out there, but there’s just something about Metheny’s ability to tell a complex musical story with an uncluttered harmonic palette. It’s what drew me in back then and continues to do so today.

I’ve embedded a full “Aprilwind”/”April Joy” video as the transition between the tunes is certainly of interest. OK, and I really dig watching the vinyl spin.

Up next: April Joy

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