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Ben Patterson Sextet: The Prowl (2004)

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Ben Patterson Sextet: The Prowl How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Ben Patterson is a jazz trombonist with the Airmen of Note and also the lead trombonist for the Alan Blaylock Jazz Orchestra, from which come the members of his sextet. In addition, two of the musicians, trumpeter Tim Leahey and guitarist Shawn Purcell, are also members of the Airmen of Note, while drummer Steve Fidyk also performs with another military-related organization, the Army Blues.

The compositions for this debut album consist of two standards and seven original pieces composed by Patterson and one from saxophonist Jeff Antoniuk. Patterson has a rich, full-bodied sound, and he is clearly comfortable in the confines of a big band or a sextet with a three-man horn section. The songs all have a hard bop up-tempo similarity. With "Road Rage" Patterson strives for the cacophony of a traffic jam and succeeds. On the melody line, Purcell plays with a harder edge and accompanying bleats from the horns provide a tinge of free jazz influences. Shawn Purcell makes the most of his solo opportunities on "Obsessive" and the title tune on guitar. The only ballad on the album, Lerner and Loewe's "If Ever I Would Leave You," a favorite of Ben Patterson's mother, is a highlight, and I would have liked to have heard more of his lyrical work. Ray Noble's "Cherokee" is the closer and Patterson's stutter-type melody statement is followed by a flag-waver finale.

Track Listing: No,I Don't Fly Planes, Mother's Day, Obsessive, The Prowl, Road Rage, If Ever I Would Leave You, Sunny Girl, Operation Seventeen, Cherokee

Personnel: Ben Patterson, trombone; Tim Leahey, trumpet; Jeff Antoniuk, tenor and soprano sax; Shawn Purcell,guitar; John Pineda, bass; Steve Fidyk, drums.

Record Label: Bonecat

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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