(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Ozark” (1981)

Unlike a lot of American kids, I was not forced into taking piano lessons. I was more of a stringed instruments guy, first with the violin and then the guitar. But there are times when I wish I knew how to play…like every time I hear “Ozark.”

Now here is one of my favorite Lyle Mays vehicles. That driving, uptempo piano riff is one of the most ecstatic things he’s ever recorded. It induces (in addition to the desire to play piano) memories of the last day of school — with the whole summer stretching out before me…pure joy.

Check out this live version from 1982. They stretch the piece out a little, and you get to see the wizardry of Nana Vasconcelos with the berimbau.

Up next: September Fifteenth

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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.