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Brian Patneaude: All Around Us (2012)

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Brian Patneaude: All Around Us How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

On All Around Us, Albany, New York saxophonist Brian Patneaude's solid quartet delivers a high energy, straight-ahead jazz date.

As a saxophonist, Patneaude solos transparently and has a bright sound, set off by a hard-edged technical competence that will remind some of Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
1949 - 2007
sax, tenor
, as on the complicated line of "Blucocele." On Bronisław Kaper's "Invitation," Patneaude is admirably unfazed by the celebrated 1958 John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
reading of the tune on Standard Coltrane (Prestige, 1962). Patneaude the composer provides compelling settings for the quartet. His harmonic progressions suggest a moving forward, a seeking (not unlike some Coltrane compositions). He favors swirling bop-derived themes and a variety in time signatures, all of which keeps things interesting.

The pace on All Around Us largely varies between mid-tempo and just-this-side-of frenetic, a function of the slightly unsettled compositions and drummer Danny Whelchel's alert, ahead-of-the-beat style. The manic main theme of "Double Trio" is a well-executed example of the hard-driving aspect of the set, as are "Aimless Antithesis" and "Blucocele" whereas "Orb" marks the more contemplative end of the spectrum here.

Keyboardist David Caldwell-Mason merits most valuable player honors among the musicians assembled by Patneaude: he is a tireless font of ideas and creativity, thoughtful but not discursive in his solos (each of which is excellent) and ably supportive in the ensemble passages and underneath Patneaude's solos. He has a firm handle on both dimensions of the Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
school of jazz piano: the blues heritage transmitted via Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Bud Powell
1924 - 1966
piano
and Hancock's sensitive impressionism.

On the two covers, Invitation" and Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
's redoubtable "Juju," Caldwell-Mason switches to Fender Rhodes with marvelous effect. On "Juju" in particular, the electric keyboard lends to the proceedings a stylish sound reminiscent of Uri Caine
Uri Caine
Uri Caine
b.1956
piano
's role in trumpeter Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas
b.1963
trumpet
' ensembles. Bassist Mike DelPrete is versatile and steps forward for a good solo on "Too Vast For Malice." Drummer Whelchel, meanwhile, solos nicely (though perhaps a little too low in the mix) over the vamp in "Double Trio."

Track Listing: Lake Timeless; Too Vast for Malice; Orb; Double Trio; Juju; Aimless Antithesis; Invitation; Blucocele.

Personnel: Brian Patneaude: tenor saxophone; David Caldwell-Mason: piano, Fender Rhodes; Mike DelPrete: bass; Danny Whelchel: drums.

Record Label: WEPA Records


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