String Theory jumps off the CD player from the first cut…
String Theory jumps off the CD player from the first cut, a gypsy swing number penned by jazz guitar great Ninine Garcia who lends his Django-style guitar to three of the 11 tunes here, with a unique blend of musicality, passion and respect that sets this record apart as a special experience. Patton plays the music he loves with wit and soul….String Theory simply shimmers with great songs, evocative playing and wondrous ensemble work. Will Patton has made a great, great record here that deserves the widest possible audience. Highly recommended.
Will is among of the best of those quiet giant musicians
String Theory, the Will Patton Ensemble (Kings Hill Music KHM-0505) Will is among of the best of those quiet giant musicians in Vermont… so good that’s its a little too easy to take for them granted, content to play and write from what inspires the heart and nurtures the soul., renowned elsewhere, a bit underappreciated at home. He consistently churns out staggeringly good material, as an instrumentalist (mandolins and bass) and composer, and just when you think you may be the first to discover some special little corner of celtic, bluegrass, Gypsy jazz or world music no one else knows about, it turns out that Will has been there, done that, explored it from multiple sides, and played the blue blazes out of it. Brazilian choro is a case in point, roughly a third of this new CD, among them a soulful, fitting tribute to another, slightly less-quiet Vermont musical giant, the late Rachel Bissex. The ensemble is stellar… Will on mandolins, guitar and bass, David Gusakov on violin and viola, Steve Blair on guitar, Clyde Stats on string bass and Steve Winert on drums and percussion. Also featured are Jeremiah McLane (accordion), Anna Patton (clarinet), Patricia Julien (flute) and members of Vermont’s Brazilian group Sambatucada. When he’s not playing and/or teaching at Jay Ungar’s camp in the Catskills, Gyspy Jazz Week in Northampton, in Paris, New York or California, you can pick up a copy of the CD at one of Will’s Vermont gigs
Capturing the best of both worlds, European “Gypsy” jazz and Brazilian Samba/Choro
New from Gypsy/Choro wizard, Will Patton, String Theory. Will Patton, Vermont based mandolinist/multi-instrumentalist returns to the studio for his special blend of acoustic magic with Kings Hill Records release, “String Theory.” Capturing the best of both worlds, European “Gypsy” jazz and Brazilian Samba/Choro, he expertly cooks a concoction of culinary pleasure in the same forward direction of his previous two projects, “Lattitudes and Departures” and “Peripherique” Patton has truly mastered this delightful cosmopolitan recipe.
His playing reigns in my book as “King of Oval Hole Clean” in the current crop of high profile jazz mandolinists, milking his vintage teen “A” of the richest, creamy tone on the farm. No tasteless, fat-free timbre here; better load up on the Lipitor… A paragon of line and sustain, his aptitude for rich melody manifests well in his mastery of finger control and right hand/left hand coordination.
This prowess is well supported compositionally through the talents of a cadre of some of New England’s top-notch players. Joining him in the kitchen, the passionate fluidity of electric guitarist Ninine Garcia, the compelling complementary line of flutist Patricia Julien, and an admirable duty by his own daughter, clarinetist Anna Patton. Toss in some radiant gypsy violin, accordian, and a premiere rhythm section, you have this consummate concoction of 50 plus minutes of Euro-choro euphoria. A formula pleasingly similar to his first two projects, I count (breakdown arguably and arbitrarily blurred) four Gypsy tunes, four Brazilian, and three swing selections (two standards from Horace Silver and Sonny Rollins). This is a delicious meal of some of New England’s finest musically satisfying cuisine. I don’t think I have room for dessert.
Will Patton’s name has been synonymous with jazz mandolin
A stalwart on the Vermont scene since way back in the long ago early 70s, Will Patton’s name has been synonymous with jazz mandolin in Vermont (and for much of that time, with bass as well)…..This is real bop played on stringed instruments, with bass, drums, occasional flute, and vocals on one track….. if you like the sound of the mandolin, you’ll like hearing Willy play it, as few can do it better. Indeed, none that I’ve ever heard. so check it out.”
One of the top ten Vermont releases
…Patton’s devotion to Django Reinhardt-style swing is clear – several of the tunes on L & D would have fit right in at the legendary Hot Club of Paris….. an airy, relaxed yet agile style…” Selected as one of the top ten Vermont releases of 2000.
A unique musical identity..
Will Patton’s Latitudes and Departures recording arrived at my house a week ago. It won’t be making an appearance outside of my CD player any time in the near future. It took one time through to make this one of my all-time favorite mandolin recordings. Period. A great musician is someone with exceptional tone, soloing skills that pull you inside the piece, and most importantly, a unique musical identity. That’s Will Patton. If I had to pick a favorite moment it would be the mandolin and mandola layered big band riffing on Wabash (the opening cut). Imagine if the hot Benny Goodman small groups on the 1940’s had played string instruments and you get the idea. Evidence of Patton’s great skill as an arranger and band leader. Very, very highly recommended.
Intricate melodies with purity and clarity of tone..
Patton delicately and sensitively plays intricate melodies with purity and clarity of tone. Of the 11 long pieces on this CD, five are written by Will Patton… the one vocal on the CD, Chasin’ a Dream is penned by Patton and is so good. It features the mysterious Spiders – that quintessential mystery backup group from the northeast… sounds like an old Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks tune… This album is forever locked into rotation in my CD library.