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Take Five With Pat Pratico

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Meet Pasquale J Pratico:

I was born in Trenton in 1955 to an Italian-American family. My brothers and my younger sister were raised in a family restaurant business. I learned to cook and still cook most of the time with the help of my wife, Mary. My uncles Nate and Vince are professional musicians and they—along with the musicians my father hired to play in the restaurant— inspired me. I started in a wedding band with my older brother Mike and our two cousins. I played with them for years along with my uncle Nate's band, while freelancing. I became a teacher while I was in high school and taught at now-defunct music centers like Liberty Music Center, Lombardo's Music Center and Krechmer's Music Center.

Instrument(s):

Electric bass, guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?

Tony Taraschi, Lou Mercuri, and Al Maene. Guitarist who have influenced me are Joe Pass
Joe Pass
Joe Pass
1929 - 1994
guitar
, Jim Hall
Jim Hall
Jim Hall
1930 - 2013
guitar
, Pat Martino
Pat Martino
Pat Martino
b.1944
guitar
, Jim Hall
Jim Hall
Jim Hall
1930 - 2013
guitar
, Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
1925 - 1968
guitar
and Kenny Burrell
Kenny Burrell
Kenny Burrell
b.1931
guitar
. Amongst the many other musicians who have influenced me are Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
1925 - 2007
piano
, Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
1923 - 1990
sax, tenor
and Richie Cole
Richie Cole
Richie Cole
b.1948
sax, alto
.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

The first wedding I can remember attending was my Uncle Tony and Aunt Mary's wedding. They hired Uncle Nate's band to play. I conducted the band for most of the reception—I was seven years old—to the annoyance of my uncle. But live music is what did it for me. I knew I had to be a musician.

Your sound and approach to music:

Smooth and melodic; I enjoy playing in a pianistic style when playing solo guitar.

Your teaching approach:

I think students need to listen to a lot of music to find their niche. Only then can they decide in what direction they want to go, and find a teacher who will help them reach that goal.

Your dream band:

I would love to play with Diana Krall
Diana Krall
Diana Krall
b.1964
piano
, because she uses the guitar prominently in her groups and I like her selection of music. Another dream band would be Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
, Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis
b.1960
saxophone
, Richie Cole
Richie Cole
Richie Cole
b.1948
sax, alto
, Steve Turre
Steve Turre
Steve Turre
b.1948
trombone
, Christian McBride
Christian McBride
Christian McBride
b.1972
bass
, Monty Alexander
Monty Alexander
Monty Alexander
b.1944
piano
, Tony Williams
Tony Williams
Tony Williams
1945 - 1997
drums
and myself. I would like to hear them play some charts that I've arranged.

Favorite venue:

Havana, in New Hope, Pa. They have kept the Midnight Sun Orchestra there for 12 or more years with me in it. They treat the musicians well.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

"My One and Only Love," which was a duet with a trombonist. I like it because I liked to accompany another soloist and play unaccompanied also.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Bumpin' on Sunset, by Wes Montgomery.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Keeping the traditional sound of jazz guitar alive.

CDs you are listening to now:

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
1915 - 1998
vocalist
, Reprise Years (Universal);

Art Tatum
Art Tatum
Art Tatum
1909 - 1956
piano
, Solo Piano (Pablo);

Count Basie
Count Basie
Count Basie
1904 - 1984
piano
, The Atomic Mr. Basie (Roulette);

Everything Jim Hall
Jim Hall
Jim Hall
1930 - 2013
guitar
and Paul Desmond
Paul Desmond
Paul Desmond
1924 - 1977
sax, alto
did.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

It's not recognized enough by people as the treasure that it is.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Keep playing it live and recording.

What is in the near future?

I'm working on playing with my octet featuring a vocalist. We are playing Sinatra favorites.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

That I don't feel well because if I don't feel well then I don't do the music justice.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Kingdom Melody."

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?

Whatever song I'm currently arranging.

By Day:

School bus driver.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Chef.


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