A Conversation with Brian Patneaude
“ I would like to see jazz embraced by audiences both young and old, with the emphasis on the young. In order for this music to stay alive it needs to be embraced by a younger generation. ”
All About Jazz: How did you get started in music?
Brian Patneaude: I picked up the saxophone in fifth grade, just like any other kid given the option of playing an instrument. I played it for a while and wasn't really into it. It wasn't fun. It was work. Like most kids, I did other things and just played the sax in school. Once I got into high school, I started to get a little more serious about it. I got into more music that was saxophone based, and I started to think 'Gee, this thing can do more than play 'Mary Had a Little Lamb!' I went to the College of Saint Rose, where I got a degree in music education and then did some graduate studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music at the University Of Cincinnati. After I moved back to Albany, it just sort of blossomed from there. I started playing professionally, working with a lot of different bands.
AAJ: Aside from tenor saxophone, what other instruments do you play?
BP: I also play soprano, alto, and baritone.
AAJ: I understand that you used to play drums?
BP: I dabbled. I was in high school. It wasn't fun to play the sax, but it was fun to bang on the drums. Nothing I would play in public now.
AAJ: What drew you to jazz?
BP: There were really two things that drew me to jazz. First, it was a music that featured the saxophone. Second, it was more a complex music than I was listening to at the time. In high school, I was into Metallica and other heavy metal bands. Then I started getting into Rush, Pink Floyd, Yes'bands that were a little more harmonically adventurous. The prog rock bands led me to jazz, fusion at first, and I went from there.
AAJ: Name some of your influences on your instrument.
BP: Michael Brecker, Seamus Blake, Chris Potter, Chris Cheek, Bill McHenry, David Sanborn was a really big influence when I was younger, Hank Mobley, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane ' the list could go on and on and on.