(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Pretty Scattered” (1980)

Sometimes, it’s all about Ornette.

On the whole, 80/81 comfortably visits “out” material and more straight ahead jazz, with a healthy introduction to Pat’s idea of “folk jazz.” Some of the glue that holds all of this together is the influence of Ornette Coleman. Turnaround was written by Ornette, but the Metheny-penned “Pretty Scattered” seems like the other side of that coin.

The opening motif, it’s angularity and energy — especially when the entire ensemble lurches upwards to reach for (and stop on) that one high note — reminds my ear of the gorgeous melodies that Ornette produced in his early years. Clearly Mr. Haden knew a thing or two about that!

Of course, a few years down the road Pat and Charlie would be back with Billy Higgins to engage in even more Ornette-isms with Rejoicing.

Up next: Every Day (I Thank You)

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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.