Patrick Brown is among the many young talented saxophonists who have emerged in recent years. He is currently studying at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he is taking a Master of Music degree. Characteristic of Patrick Brown is his soft, cool, sensual tone, not unlike that of Stan Getz. He combines the emotional directness of Getz with the intellectual sophistication of Lee Konitz.
Brown has gathered a fine group of musicians to play his compositions on Patrick Brown Quintet. The piano-less lineup allows for a lighter touch in texture, underlined by Andy Page's soft acoustic guitar and the leader's airy lines.
The album kicks off with "Ellamueve, a rhythmically sophisticated tune with bassist Zack Page laying a solid groundwork while the leader spins melodic lines on top.
"Simmerdown" finds the group entering funk territory. Keeping things simple Page drives the group forward with his funky chords, while trumpeter Tom Shirah and Brown double the melody, creating a solid, brassy punch.
"When I Feel Love" is a touching ballad where Brown is able to show his mastery of tone with slow, breathy lines. The tune starts as a dialogue between Page and Brown, and then the bass and drums enters slowly. Ben Bjorlie is especially notable for bringing out the romantic mood of the tune with his tasteful use of brushes.
"Ellamueve, "Simmerdown" and "When I Feel Love" illustrate the diversity of the quintet, going from modern cool jazz to funk and classic balladry. The unifying factor is the elegance and touch of class imprinted on every tune.
The only downside is the length of the album. There is about thirty minutes of music here and that is too little; but, sure enough, the group whets the appetite for more, and that is not a bad thing at all.
Personnel: Patrick Brown: tenor and soprano saxophones; Tom Shirah: trumpet and flugelhorn; Andy Page: guitar; Zack Page: bass; Ben Bjorlie: drums.