Brian Patneaude Quartet | Variations

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by Brian Patneaude Quartet

Featuring an eclectic blend of jazz styles, this tight foursome have crafted a sound all their own. "A highly accomplished debut recording that truly is the sum of some excellent parts" - The All Music Guide ****
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Jolo
7:21 $0.99
2. Variation On A Variation
5:19 $0.99
3. The Strega
7:32 $0.99
4. The Longing
9:21 $0.99
5. O.F.F.
7:04 $0.99
6. Hide The Fat Guy
5:47 $0.99
7. Erodiade
5:44 $0.99
8. Freedom Trane
5:19 $0.99
9. Tons Of Fun
3:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Jazz Times Critics' Picks 2003
Jeff Waggoner - Top 10 CDs:

1. Dave Holland Quintet - Extended Play (ECM)
2. Terence Blanchard - Bounce (Blue Note)
3. Art Ensemble of Chicago - For Lester (ECM)
4. Greg Osby - St. Louis Shoes (Blue Note)
5. Marc Copland/Greg Osby - Round & Round (Nagel-Heyer)
6. Dave Douglas - Freak In (RCA/Bluebird)
7. Charles Davis - Blue Gardenia (Reade Street Records)
8. Teddy Edwards - Smooth Sailing (HighNote)
9. The Bad Plus - These Are The Vistas (Columbia)


"Tenor saxophonist Brian Patneaude and his quartet display a strong group aesthetic on their debut disc, Variations. Patneaude has a lithe, controlled sound not unlike Michael Brecker, and guitarist George Muscatello's snakelike intensity brings to mind both Pat Metheny and Pat Martino. The duo makes solid use of harmonically complex dual guitar/sax arrangements urged on by drummer Danny Whelchel and bassist Ryan Lukas. Muscatello's fascination with avant-garde guitarist/composer Leo Brouwer takes center stage on a few cuts, while Patneaude pays homage to modern sax giant Joe Lovano on "Jolo." There is a softness to Variations, a sensitivity to melody and harmonic color, that belies an improvisational muscularity. This is a highly accomplished debut recording that truly is the sum of some excellent parts."
- All Music Guide (****)


" ... a super-hip sound ... perfectly balances inventive improvisation with slippery-smooth melodies for a sound as refreshing as it is classic."
- Seven Days, Burlington, VT


"Variations is a fabulous recording ... amazingly fresh in both concept and execution ... a major find as far as a terrific recording coming as a total & pleasant surprise, indeed ..."
- Mike Schwartz KSJS 90.5 FM, San Jose, CA


"Variations is the work of young professionals who have developed their own ideas about the direction of their music and customize their compositions to fit their musical personalities ... the tightness of the quartet establishes a distinctive style that constantly catches the listener off guard with it's unpredictability ... you'll be hearing more of Patneaude's quartet in the future"
- Cadence


"... fresh melodic modern jazz played with passion. I expect these guys to be of a higher profile very soon."
- Phil Grenadier - trumpeter & Fresh Sound New Talent recording artist


"We'll be hearing a great deal from this group in years to come."


The Brian Patneaude Quartet was formed in the spring of 2002 as part of an ongoing Sunday night residency at Justin's in Albany, NY. Comprised of guitarist George Muscatello, bassist Ryan Lukas, drummer Danny Whelchel and saxophonist Brian Patneaude, the tight foursome have quickly crafted a sound all their own. Their eclectic blend of jazz styles incorporates everything from hard bop and fusion to rock and modern classical music.


BRIAN PATNEAUDE (tenor saxophone)
Named "Best Jazz" by Metroland magazine in 2003 and 2004, Brian Patneaude is easily one of the busiest musicians of New York's 'Capital District'. In addition to leading his own Quartet (with two critically acclaimed releases to their credit) the saxophonist also maintains an active performance schedule with salsa/merengue favorites Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra, the DJ + live instruments project Nouveau Chill, and the award winning Empire Jazz Orchestra. While not performing, Patneaude maintains, an online guide to the region's jazz community.

The seeds of the quartet were planted back in 1995 when Brian was first introduced to guitarist George Muscatello. Muscatello had just returned to the area after studying at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York City. While at Manhattan the guitarist honed his skills with Wayne Krantz and Rodney Jones while immersing himself in the music of modern classical composers such as Bela Bartok and Leo Brouwer. The guitarist has since become quite well known throughout the Capital District for his weekly jazz series at Savannah's (which ran every Monday night for three years) and the Lionheart Cafe (every Tuesday night for four years before that) in addition to performances with such heavy hitters such as Nick Brignola, Chuck D'Aloia, and Dave Calarco. George brings a unique sound and compositional approach to the quartet with his many musical influences ranging from free jazz to contemporary classical.

Drummer Danny Whelchel spent the majority of his life in Lafayette, Louisiana before moving to upstate New York in the fall of 1997. Since that time he has performed with a slew of the area's top talent including Ray Alexander, Adrian Cohen, Soul Session, Carl Landa, Amy Abdou, Jeff Gonzales, Bob Warren, Michael Jerling, Jocamo, Pangaea, Out Of Control, and the Refrigerators. Danny is currently dance accompanist with the Ellen Sinopoli Company and the Emma Wilard School.

RYAN LUKAS (acoustic bass)
Originally from Rochester, NY, bassist Ryan Lukas studied at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY before relocating to New York's Capital District. In addition to the quartet, the in-demand acoustic & electric bassist performs regularly with the Latin groups Sensemaya and Mundo Nuevo, blue band Burbon Renewal w/George Fletcher, the Joey Thomas Big Band, jazz vocalist Laurel Masse, keyboardist Rob Lindquist, hip hop combo Fund the Mentals, and Tom Burre's Boneoil. Ryan also co-leads Family Tree with drummer Steve Candlen.



to write a review

Michael Magie

The BPQ doesn’t sound quite like any other group ...
Moving into this set by the BPQ is like walking into a solid, strongly built house. There’s no anxiety or pressure, just a calm assurance about their work -- an astounding assurance, actually, for a young group’s first CD. They seem to have complete confidence in themselves, and this sense of solidity in every move they make is a great part of the pleasure of listening to them. As in an elegant well-made house, everything fits with everything else and belongs just where it is. They open spaces for you like few spaces you’ve ever stepped into before. A piece written by the bassist, Ryan Lukas called “The Longing” is right at the heart of it, where a longing should be, and the movement there is slow, thoughtful, exploratory -- but not tentative or unsure.

Not that the playing is always slow. Sometimes all the doors and windows of this house are open, and there’s a strong wind blowing, a stream of pulsing jazz, urgent and strong. Time to drop the house metaphor: sometimes they just plain wail. They seem to be good in all the modes. One of the finest things about their playing is their confidence in shifting combos. When Patneaude’s sax is at the front, the structure is four-square. When he sits down, guitarist Muscatello and bassist Lukas and drummer Whelchel make as fine a trio as you’re likely to hear. And the duo playing between Patneaude and Muscatello, the echoing, the unison riffs, the back-and-forth conversation -- all this is a perpetual demonstration of both inventiveness and deep-connecting sympathy.

The BPQ doesn’t sound quite like any other group. You can hear echoes of others they’ve gone to school to, but everything is worked into their own sound and style. They sound like themselves. What an astounding thing to say about a first CD. They sound like themselves; you’ll recognize the sound as soon as you start listening. And we’ll all recognize it again when they issue their next disk -- which will, I hope, be very soon.

Vangelis Aragiannis, Greece

Very Impressive Debut from Brian Patneaude Quartet
“Variations” is the debut of 29 year old saxophonist Brian Patneaude from New York. During the last 10 years the college of St. Rose graduate has participated in many groups and had the opportunity to obtain remarkable performing experience in a variety of styles. Last year he
formed his quartet with George Muscatello (guitar), Ryan Lukas (bass)and Danny Whelchel (drums). A few months were enough for the four of them to build a considerable repertoire and to record “Variations”, a tight and elaborated album considering their short time together as a
group. Melodic jazz full of passion played by four integrated yet very young musicians. Patneaude’s versatile tenor incorporates elements derived from various sources of inspiration, such as Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker and certainly the saxophonists to whom his two compositions are dedicated: Joe Lovano (“Jolo”) and John Coltrane / Eddie Harris (“Freedom Trane”). The bulk of the album’s ompositions belong to George Muscatello. They impress his musical interests that span from modern classical music (he is a fervent admirer of Cuban guitarist Leo Brouwer) to funk and rock (“Tons of Fun”). Ryan Lukas contributes with an excellent composition too: the stunning “The
Longing”, a ballad reminiscent of Don Grolnick’s “Cost of Living” from Michael Brecker’s debut that induces the four soloists to show off their improvisational skills. Brian Patneaude quartet’s entrance in discography is very impressive and creates an air of expectations for an
even better follow up.