Liner Notes From CD
BACK HOME in Nova Scotia, back in 1976 if my brain serves me well, back when hanging out together and listening to LP's was a social event, my friend dropped the needle on a new record and handed me the cover. I had never heard of Jim Hall but knew of Don Thompson and Terry Clarke from the snippets of jazz that made their way to radio and TV via the C.B.C. The sound was unforgettable; dark, warm, mysterious, haunting and addictive; so much so that my first copy of Jim Hall Live has no top end frequencies left. Hearing that recording was the catalyst that led to the move to the big city of Toronto, and over the years circumstances and good fortune provided occasional opportunities to play with Don and Terry, both individually and together. There was always floating around in the ether the idea of recording with the trio; a kind of "closing of the circle." Finally the universe smiled and the chance to do a live recording opened up thanks to Steve Del Col at Zooma Zooma Cafe who presented and David Gillis who engineered. Live recording can be disastrous, wonderful and everything in between, but always honest; no second takes or "fixes." A few of the tunes were played once at a brief rehearsal, some were "talked down" before the set and some were called on the bandstand on the spur of the moment. A couple of the tunes are things that we have all played over the years, some were less familiar and a couple were new. Atlantic Blues was written for my old friend the Atlantic Ocean and Who Can I turn To is dedicated to Dutch Mason, who sat next to me at the Pineos' house in Kentville and played the first jazz chords that I ever heard on the guitar. Titles and dedications aside, this recording is about the interplay, spontaneity, joy and adventure of that performance back in July, when it felt like someone dropped the needle on a side and I was transfixed once again by the sound of Don's bass and Terry's cymbals, amazed that when thumb went to string it felt like had come home, full circle.
"Patterson...a perfectionist with a big, round and dominating sound that turns every tune into a stimulating experience.." - The Toronto Star
"every note that he plays seems to have a purpose and a place, and both purpose and place usually have something to do with melody." -The Globe and Mail
For guitarist Roy Patterson, growing up in rural Nova Scotia provided a strong sense of individuality rooted in the history of the land that would play a large part in his music. But early musical influences of rock, blues, and R&B are what fostered Roy's interest and passion for the guitar. He performed with local groups touring Atlantic Canada, meanwhile exploring the mysteries of jazz, listening intensely to the music of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and other masters from the jazz tradition.
In 1978, the 24 year old made the move to Toronto, and brought along an intense practice routine and a burning desire to play jazz. Since then Roy has performed with many of Canada's jazz elite, including Don Thompson, The Doug Riley/Phil Dwyer Quartet, The Barry Elmes Quintet, The Bob Mover Quartet, Mike Murley, Bernie Senensky and many other highly accomplished artists. His style has drawn comparisons with some of the most respected guitarists in North America, and his playing has taken him to Finland, Istanbul, Italy and the U.S.A. In the spring of 2002 Roy was invited to take part in a series of concerts and a workshop for the Commission Project in Rochester, New York where he performed there with a number of U.S. musicians such as John Faddis, Keeter Betts, Jay Leonhart, Akira Tana and Fred Wesley.
Since the release of his first recording in 1989, Roy has built a body of original work which demonstrates a personal, evocative style drawn from early musical influences and eastern meditative practices. His fourth CD, Inland Passages, was released in 1997 and came about as a result of the Roy Patterson Quartet winning the coveted Prix de Jazz at Montreal's Festival International de Jazz, the first Toronto based band ever to win this competition. The award brought exposure through national radio, television, and a tour that concluded at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Inland Passages is a testament to Roy's own earthbound and spiritual journeys and his pursuit of adventure. More recent credits include the Jazz Report magazine award for Guitarist of the Year for 2000, and the formation of the Toronto Jazz Composers Collective, a non-profit group dedicated to the performance and dissemination of Canadian jazz compositions.
Along the way to establishing his credentials as a performer, Roy obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, and a Master of Music from McGill University. While continuing to compose and perform, he endeavours to pass along his knowledge and experience at York University where he teaches part time in the jazz program, and through his regular column in the US magazine, Just Jazz Guitar.