There are singers, and then there are musicians whose instrument is their voice. Beata Pater is clearly the latter. Whether interpreting lyrics with the emotional depth and lyrical expression of her personal “goddess” Sarah Vaughan and her beloved Shirley Horn; soaring on the fanciful flight trajectories of another profound influence, Betty Carter; or translating her studies on the violin into a fascinating musical narrative, Beata embodies creativity in its purest sense.
Beata’s latest creation “Tet” is her ninth solo album. Aptly titled, Tet is not only the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the symbol for 9, but also as Beata explains: “It is symbolic of creativity, a vessel which holds something within, a womb for creation. Goodness is hidden within it.”
For this album Beata has surrounded herself with an 18-piece ensemble – a wind and brass double quartet, a double string quartet, piano and bass – for a delightful set of nine brilliant interpretations of a pair of iconic jazz works, three time-honored American Songbook classics, a modern standard by Bill Cantos and three originals by Beata’s longtime friend and colleague Chip White. The outstanding repertoire includes Freddie Hubbard’s Little Sunflower and Chick Corea’s Crystal Silence (with lyrics by Al Jarreau and Neville Potter respectively); timeless gems Invitation, Old Devil Moon and Lazy Afternoon; Bill Cantos’ I Feel You and the three Chip White items that close the album, The Countess, Strays and Ode to Max.
Immersed in music in the most organic sense since her earliest memories, Beata grew up in her native Poland with absolutely no sense of genre barriers or subjective classification. Yet she made the decision to pursue her personal path of expression through jazz.
“Why do I ‘sing’ Jazz? Because Jazz is Emotion. Emotions are most important in our lives. They make us and they truly lead us. Life makes no sense without Emotions.”
While there have been many attempts in recent years to define jazz within severely limiting boundaries, Beata embraces the profound art form in its true tradition of unfettered creativity best expressed by Duke Ellington who stated: “Jazz is Freedom. The Freedom to play something that has never been played before.”
A world traveler who after leaving Poland has lived in England and Japan, Beata moved to San Francisco in 1994, finding its open-minded ambiance to be ideal for her limitless creative process.
Embracing both the intimacy of classic jazz vocal artistry and the wide open terrain of adventurous expressiveness with equal commitment, Beata has blended both approaches with her stunning 3-album ‘color’ series, Black (2006), Blue (2011) and Red (2013). Drawing upon a rich and varied repertoire of classic standards, works by such heavyweights as Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Mongo Santamaria and the legendary Polish master Krzysztof Komeda, and her own remarkable compositions along with those of her frequent collaborator Mark Little, Beata has forged a unique place for herself in the forefront of jazz vocal artistry. On Blue, she began to utilize her wordless approach that occupies a special place somewhere between scat and a violin solo, moving deftly from one to the other, but most often blending the two into a concoction of aural delight.