Election Night Dinner and Cigar Party in Hyde Park—
Tuesday, November 4, 6:00pm
jazz from the Ben Paterson trio
Jeffrey Dean will play host to the Cigar
Society at his home in Hyde Park (57th and Dorchester) on election night
for an evening of dining and entertainment. Jacket and tie
required; black tie recommended. Bring your
own cigars. $50 payable by chit, cash, or check made out to the
University Club of Chicago.
RSVP to the Secretary,
Tuckey, by end of day this Friday.
Paul Abella, Chicago Jazz
"Pianist Ben Paterson
might be relatively new to
Chicago's jazz scene (he arrived in 2004), but he hasn't wasted any
time getting noticed by many of the people in the know around the
town. He’s played with Chicago’s cream of the crop, from blues man
Dave Specter, to singer Elaine Dame, to avant-garde cats like Ernest
Dawkins. This kid has made his way around the town, so it's about time
that he put out a CD. At first glance, Paterson's debut CD, Breathing
Space, had all of the telltale signs of being a Bill Evans' tribute.
The Scot LaFaro tune, "Gloria’s Step," and two more tunes from the
Evans/LaFaro/Motian era, "Nardis" and "Alice in Wonderland," had me
wondering what I was in for when I popped this one into the CD player.
What a surprise! They may play tunes lifted from Bill Evans' songbook,
but they don't play them like the Bill Evans Trio did. They give these
tunes a little, well, breathing space, so to speak; they give these
songs new twists to make them all their own, which bodes well for a
young pianist making his first CD, and is pleasant on the ears of the
listener. The way Paterson approaches "Whisper Not" is quite
interesting. He makes the melody knotty by adding a tag that gives it
a whole new attitude. "Nardis" is interesting, mostly because although
Paterson’s playing definitely echoes Bill Evans’ take on
"Explorations" (especially on the "A" section), the playing of Vinsel
and Deitmeyer do not conjure thoughts of LaFaro and Motian at all.
Interestingly, the bridge is swung—hard—giving it a Sonny Clark feel.
Once they’ve made their way into the solo, it builds in some rather
interesting ways in some unexpected places. It's definitely a
highlight of the disc. One of the most outstanding tunes on the CD,
though, is Paterson’s original "I Thought You Should Know." A tasty
and grooving tune, it's in the pocket and has a familiar, though not
derivative, melody. On first listen, you can hear why so many people
on the Chicago jazz scene are singing Paterson’s praises.
His playing is always where it needs
to be: one minute sensitive and relaxed, at another moment, explosive
and muscular, and always musical. It’s after a couple of
listens, though, that this disc starts to really reveal its charms.
The flourishes and personal touches that Paterson inserts into all of
these tunes make them his, and to do that on such well-traversed tunes
as "Whisper Not" and "Alice in Wonderland" is no easy feat. If
Breathing Space is any indication, you will be hearing more from Ben
Paterson. I'd suggest picking this one up, so you'll have proof that
you knew about him way back when."