LIVE: The Brian Patneaude Quartet @ the Tang Museum, 7/15/11

Mike DelPrete and Brian Patneaude
Mike DelPrete and Brian Patneaude

Tenor saxophonist, composer and bandleader Brian Patneaude is one of a handful of regional jazz musicians that continually strive to raise the bar musically. Year after year for more than a decade, his name has graced the concert schedules of various nightclubs, summer concert series and theaters all around Nippertown.

No matter the venue, the music is always of the highest calibre – both compositionally and in performance. And Patneaude’s concert on the roof of Skidmore College’s Tang Museum earlier this month was certainly no exception.

The audience flowed in from the door, filling all of the seats and spilling over to the standing room against the side walls. Many had seen the sax man playing the free Upbeat On the Roof concert series in previous years, and they were eager to how Patneaude and his crack band had developed since then.

With his patented no-frills presentation, Patneaude has always been all about the music. When he chats with the audience between tunes, he delivers the song titles and the details of his self-penned original or a respected jazz standard with a soft voice and a warm smile.

Once the quartet got cooking, the masterful cohesiveness of the ensemble exhibited turn-on-a-dime chord changes and Grand Canyon-wide musical dynamics on everything from straight-ahead burners to soulful ballads.

The rhythm section of predominantly self-taught drummer Danny Whelchel and bassist Mike DelPrete was a tight team that flawlessly laid down the rock solid foundation for keyboardist David Caldwell-Mason and Patneaude to dance upon and exchange thoughtfully constructed solos.

As the sun slowly disappeared below the horizon, Patneaude and his band treated the crowd to a stunning original composition in homage to fellow saxophonist Joshua Redman, wrapping up the hour-plus concert is fine fashion. These four truly world-class musicians – who just happen to reside right here in Nippertown – are accessible to everyone who wants to give them a listen, so check them out.

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
More of Andrzej Pilarczyk’s photograghs can be found at

David Caldwell-Mason and Danny Whelchel
David Caldwell-Mason and Danny Whelchel

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