Patrick Butler’s release, PRIME MOVER, was conceived to blend two of his favorite sounds, the bass clarinet, and vibraphone. The jazz funk sound of Butler is augmented by these unusual instruments.
“I always dug every record Bennie Maupin played the bass clarinet on. It just made the track," Butler says. In 2010, Butler cut Transcender with Joshua Harris on bass clarinet. The sound was so funky he had to do it again.
Joshua Harris reprises his bass clarinet sounds on PRIME MOVER. A fellow native of New Jersey, Harris is well known as a saxophone player. He studied with Paul Jeffrey and George Coleman. Notable musicians Harris has played with include Whitney Houston, Freddie Jackson, Jennifer Holiday, and Wayne Henderson.
Adding to the bass clarinet/guitar mix on PRIME MOVER is an indescribable mixture of vibraphone tones. Butler’s fascination with the vibes began as a teenager in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which is also the home of Steve Nelson, East Coast vibraphone great. “As a teenager I used to check out Steve’s gigs all the time. When I got good enough, I finally got to jam and hang out with him. Then with Fatback we did a tour with Roy Ayers, the first funk vibraphone player. That blew me away. Since then I have always wanted to do a session with vibes.”
"I hadn’t worked in the studio with vibes. When miked up in stereo, vibes sound like a combination of bells, light organ, and Fender Rhodes. It's a huge sound that envelopes everything, but still is very soft and subtle. It was a pleasure to solo over this organic stew of a sound," says Butler.
The vibraphonist on PRIME MOVER is Gabriel "Slam" Nobles. A professional musician for over 30 years, Nobles is a performance and recording percussionist specializing in drum set, mallets and timpani. He has been a featured performer at the Los Angeles Jazz Society Vibe Summits.
Also featured on PRIME MOVER is Gilberto Torres, who honed his distinct flute sound while playing with legends of Latin music -Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Louis Conte. Born in Caracas, Venezuelan, Torres studied music at the Music Conservatory of Jose Angel Lamas and performed with the world renowned Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony Orchestra (El Sistema).
Patrick Butler began his study of guitar at age 15 with Harry Leahey, jazz guitar genius, until Harry’s death 20 years later. Harry studied for extended periods with Johnny Smith and Dennis Sandole. Butler also studied with Antiguan jazz guitar player, Roland Prince, who was then living in Brooklyn. After meeting funk drummer and impresario, Bill Curtis, Butler was invited to join The Fatback Band, a funk unit from Queens, New York. The first record Butler recorded with Fatback, Brite Lites/Big City, went gold. Moving to Los Angeles, Butler recorded with Stephen Perkins’ acid jazz jam band, Banyan, and appears on Mike Watt’s Ball Hog or Tug Boat.