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Brian Patneaude: All Around Us

Nicholas F. Mondello By

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With All Around Us saxophonist Brian Patneaude delivers a bravura performance as both artist and composer. This superior effort shouts breakthrough for this talented, but not widely known, New York Capital District saxophonist and his crew.

The session offers eight brilliantly performed straight-ahead jazz compositions, of which six emanate from Patneaude's pen. Patneaude writes in a similar style to his playing; the heads feature melodic ebbs and flows in a palette of tempos, rhythmic strands and colors. Fronting a terrific rhythm section, Patneaude flies through melodies and extended solos with solid command, significant technical chops and inventive surprise. He never lets down across the entire date.

Diverse rhythmic and melodic intensity make All Around Us an absolutely superb recording. Every one of the selections and the incorporated solos are steeped in and delivered with rhythmic appeal, as on the frantic "Double Trio" and "Blucocele." There are instances where the group appears positively possessed by the rhythmically creative drive ("Aimless Antithesis"), while the classic "Invitation" sparkles with the help of keyboardist David Caldwell-Mason's Fender Rhodes— a perfect touch.

Patneaude's sax sound is unique—smooth and sensitive but not forced ("Lake Timeless," "Orb"). His solos are possessed of ribbon-like phrases, cascading up and down the tenor's register with evenness throughout. An inventive player, Patneaude's channels a cooler Wayne Shorter (whose "Juju" Patneaude covers here) rather than a hotter Michael Brecker. There's an intelligence and honesty that leaps from in his vibrato-less yet robust tone. It hooks.

Much could and should be said about the outstanding playing and interplay of the fine rhythm section, the perfect complement to Patneaude's improvisational approach. A gem, Caldwell-Mason falls right into place with imaginative comping and spark-like embellishments and solos. Bassist Mike DelPrete's heartbeats run solidly along underneath, while drummer Danny Whelchel displays great time, superior cymbal work and swing behind it all.

While Patneaude's primary performance area is mid-Upstate New York, this recording furthers his growing reputation as a player with an enormous upside, the equal of anyone performing in the world-renowned jazz clubs latitudes below in New York—or, for that matter, anywhere else.

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.

Title: All Around Us | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: WEPA Records

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