(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Long Ago Child/Fallen Star” (1979)

It’s one thing to paint a complete picture with a small amount of harmonic material, yet quite another to be very concise with over ten minutes of music. “Long Ago Child/Fallen Star” falls into the latter category with its mini-suites full of foreboding and promise.

This track has always felt like the soul of New Chautauqua. With long series of dark harmonic inversions that are set against a rising tide of hopeful acoustic arpeggios, it’s like Pat is extending the human voice of “Country Poem” to commune with the moment when those thoughts are first formed.

I’ve spent decades listening to this piece of music and have not come close to unlocking all that it has to offer.

Up next: Hermitage

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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 writes several 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.

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