All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

1

Blue Jay Patten: Street Scene

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
With Street Scene, multitalented musician/composer/producer Blue Jay Patten engages in a highly entertaining tribute to (and stroll through) Nashville, "Music City." Patten—long a fixture in the 'ville—and his various crews deliver an eclectic, upbeat, and all-around fun tour. As is the city it salutes, Street Scene is a veritable gumbo of genres—contemporary, jazz, country, gospel, pop and folk—each approached with integrity, outstanding musicianship and sparkling sass.

Appropriately for a Nashville nod, the instrumental opener, "Rocky Top," has Patten's alto "kickin' A" over a laid-back and very classic country and western groove. "Nice to Be Here" has Patten singing his welcome over a "Groovin'"-like vibe. "There's a Rainbow," a duet with songstress Crystal Gayle (with whom Patten has worked for decades), is an upbeat two-beat showstopper that shades Bobby Darin and swings superbly. "Hometown Serenade" is a silky smooth-groove alto kiss. The old Everly Brothers' Top 10 hit, "Let It Be Me," is covered straight up and in a hip, contemporary style.

Patten's saxophone chops are tasty, inventive, and never disingenuous. His seven originals on the session display his vast experience performing in a town that's tattooed with five lines and four spaces. Wisely, he knows his grooves and extracts things out of his horn with flair to fit each of the various styles—that's versatility. Vocally, Patten has an engaging timbre and a rather unique, almost theatrical presentation (think a contemporized, less-intense Anthony Newley) and obviously loves diving deep into lyrics. He's savvy—a showman, but no show-off.

Soundtrack patriarch, Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" finds Patten's crisp alto and tenor saxophones lilting beautifully in tandem. "Heart to Heart, Soul to Soul," a romantic duet with chanteuse Jonell Mosser, is an album highlight. "Music Row Stomp" is just that—a fiercely fiddled and wailing alto down-home, heel-stomping romp. The beautifully rendered ballad, "Peace Prayer," brings the curtain down on this neat homage.

The various musicians on the album are all A1+, all brilliantly buying into things, with all the various soloists exceptional. The production values are superb. As producer, Patten has pulled off a very fine 'ville showcase.

Street Scene may not appeal to jazz purists. There's no straight-ahead here, although Patten and all of the musicians are superb improvisers. Street Scene is, rather, a display of great music of appealing and exciting variety. And, when you add to that players who are drenched in spirit, soul and, obviously, love, who could ask for anything more?

Track Listing: Rocky Top; Nice to Be Here; Lady Blue; There's a Rainbow; Hometown Serenade; Let It Be Me; When Love Goes; Endless Possibilities; Street Scene; When Johnny Comes Marching Home; Heart to Heart; Soul to Soul; Music Row Stomp; Peace Prayer.

Personnel: Blue Jay Patten: vocals, alto and tenor saxophones, guitar, mandolin, keyboards; Crystal Gayle: vocal (4); Jonnell Mosser: vocal (11); Andy Reiss: guitar (1, 2, 5, 7, 11); John Kearns: guitar (6, 12); Mike Loudermilk: guitar; (10); Billy Contreras: fiddle (12); Richard Bailey; banjo (1); Steve Willis: keys (6); Will Barrow; keys (11); Tim Veazey: vocal (3), vocal (3); Toni Sehulster: bass (1, 3, 8, 11); Rob Price: bass (2, 4-7, 9, 12); Ike Harris: bass (10); Dave Nelson: drums (2, 5, 9); Duane Norman: drums (3, 6, 7, 12); Rick Lonow: drums (1, 4, 8, 10, 11, 13); Vickie Carrico: background vocal (2); Jonnell Mosser: background vocal (2); Roger Cook: whistle (9); Jim Williamson: trumpet (4); Barry Green: trombone (4); Jeff Steinberg: horn and string arrangements (4).

Title: Street Scene | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Flamingo

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Bitter Suite CD/LP/Track Review
The Bitter Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Ornettiquette CD/LP/Track Review
Ornettiquette
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Astral Revelations CD/LP/Track Review
The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Sound Of The Earth CD/LP/Track Review
The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "Flying Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Origins" CD/LP/Track Review Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Organ Monk Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk Blue
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Blued Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Blued Dharma
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: June 14, 2018
Read "Live at Sowieso" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Sowieso
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 20, 2018
Read "Wishing On The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Wishing On The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 13, 2018