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Transcription Clip: Michael Brecker, “The Four Sleepers”

By , August 16, 2019 4:46 pm

Hi everyone!  For this transcription, I went to one of the most influential saxophonists from the 1970’s through the early 2000’s.  Although many of Brecker’s solos would take significantly longer for me learn, this little clip is from a medium-tempo tune and he largely sticks to 8th note ideas, so I had a better chance!  It is also is over a standard chord progression, the 1st section on Autumn Leaves, so it’s a cool opportunity to hear what he does over conventional harmony.

Even with that, Brecker’s exploration of range and sound leave a lot for me to work on, and I feel like I began practicing jazz saxophone at a period just after a lot of people were focused on him, so I haven’t really delved into it as much as I should have.  No time like the present!



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Transcription Clip: Woody Shaw, “If”

By , May 22, 2019 2:49 pm

Hi all!

It’s been a little while but here’s a bit of some music that’s had my attention lately.

This is a bit of Woody Shaw’s trumpet solo on Joe Henderson’s song “If”, off of Larry Young’s Unity (lots of credits, there!) I love Joe Henderson but I had to try some of Shaw’s ideas because they are so interesting, although I tried swapping out some of the trumpetisms for saxophone false fingerings.

I’ve been listening to a couple new albums as well, from new Blue Note artists James Francies and Joel Ross.  Check out their websites below!



Tour Blog, Fall 2018, Day 5

By , October 25, 2018 12:41 pm

I should take some time to talk about Stuart Jackson.

Stuart has been the touring sound engineer for Polyrhythmics for a year and a half, in addition to providing driving services and getting the van and trailer where it needs to be when we can’t do it as a group. He also is on the team running sound at Nectar Lounge.

Having Stuart working on our sound on every live gig has really become invaluable to shaping Polyrhythmics’ live show. To not only be able to adjust it to the different venues we play but also add a consistent quality and overall vibe makes him a ninth member of the band, essentially. And I know I’ve learned a lot in my conversations with him about technical aspects of sound and effects. Cheers, Stuart!

Wednesday night was Milwaukee, at Shank Hall. Shank Hall is a reference to the movie Spinal Tap, which I love, and it also had a significant amount of press photos of great musicians that have played there.

As it often happens, we didn’t get much chance to see the city, which is too bad because I was curious to see what Milwaukee was like, but maybe next time. Even though the venue was more of a rock club feel, the crowd was similar to St. Paul, without the business travelers: small but mighty. Everyone bought merchandise, was enthusiastic in talking to us, and loved the music. To a certain extent this run seems like what first-time runs are expected to be, in that some crowds are small but they are determined to spread the word so that the next time out the numbers are bigger. I guess we will see if that’s the case.

Next post: Chicago, a city I have a little more experience with.

Current listening: Alison Miller, “Otis Was a Polar Bear”

I was only vaguely familiar with Alison Miller’s drumming and music before Jessica played this song for me a while ago. She liked the imagery that the song and its title conjured up; you can see a little polar bear poking around, exploring, and being rambunctious. The rest of the album is also top-notch music and improvisation!


By , January 2, 2017 2:29 am

Happy New Year!

I have been less active performing and participating in the music scene for the last couple of months, spending time with family and loved ones and teaching, as well as feeling the grey and cloudy season hang over me a bit.  I think that’s okay; it has been good to slow down with playing music for a short time and really enjoy the people closest to me, catching up on the movies and music they love that I’ve missed, cooking good food together, and finding other non-musical adventures.

With that, I’m feeling refreshed and re-motivated to pursue my musical goals this coming year!  Theoretics released a new EP in November, and we will be putting on several shows early in 2017 to showcase it.  Our music continues to be reshaped and adjusted with new sounds, all while retaining what I feel is a truly original approach.  Also, the EP release show was the first time we had worked with visual and light artists John Theroux and CTPAK Film Crew, which gave the show significantly more impact and made the music that much more immersive.  I’m looking forward to working with John again!

Polyrhythmics took a Winter retreat to compose new material as a group, which also contributed to energizing my musical direction for the coming year.  To have 4 days with minimal distractions to just think about music and talk directly about things as a group was incredibly rewarding.  You would think we would do that all the time but we just don’t have a lot of opportunities to do it at that kind of level.

Lucky Brown will be going on a short mini-tour at the end of January, the first time this lineup will be gigging outside of our monthly residency at the Seamonster.  It will be exciting to be road-tested playing Lucky’s music!

Stay tuned for more as more will surely arise this year!

One ending recommendation:  I am currently reading the autobiography of Maurice White, “My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire”, and love it.  There is so much in White’s story, from his early musical studies to the talents he developed later, to admire and aspire to.  Read it if you can!






Hardcoretet Tourblog, Day 4

By , October 22, 2009 9:09 pm

With one more full day in L.A., and a set time of 11:30 pm, the band had some time to bum around the city a bit.  First things first:  TACO TRUCK!


Jon showed us to his personal favorite, which was, of course, amazing, and even more so because of where we went to eat them:


This was a ridge about 5 minutes away from Jon’s house, and the view was breathtaking.  From there, we were led by tour guide and old friend Sarah Nelson!


We headed to Santa Monica beach, experiencing L.A. traffic both ways, but it was worth it:




Thanks for everything, Sarah!  That night we hit Skinny’s Lounge in NoHo (North Hollywood, duh):


The venue was kind of classy, with hip booths and seats and a stylish kind of vibe.  Which was why we were somewhat surprised by the opening duo, Naked and Shameless:


Both guys were very cool and supportive, though, not to mention hilarious.  After them was a singer-songwriter, Asia Whiteacre, who sounded great, with well-written pop songs and a clear voice that still had a lot of character.  This, however, made us a bit of a wierd fit.  We decided to just do our thing and let the chips fall where they may, which was a lot easier to do with the support of friends and family that were in town!



Thank you so much to my brother and sister, Charlie Patnoe, and my old friend Matt Hovland!


We said our goodbyes to L.A. this morning, and I was somewhat sad to leave, but I know we’ll be back soon!

Almost Done…

By , August 9, 2009 3:38 pm

I told myself I would wait to put posts up until my site was fully operational, but this is close enough, and if any of you out there have suggestions on how to make it cooler, let me know!

I also am not completely sure what I’m going to post about, or how often I’ll get on here; I think that’s a question that will probably take care of itself. I do know that I’d like most, if not all, of the content to be music-related, and ideally focus on Seattle music in particular. I’ve found that every musician I talk to about the scene has pretty clear ideas and opinions on the state of live music in this city, but tend to keep them to themselves unless they are asked about it, in which case the floodgates open! I’ve been exactly the same way, so hopefully this blog will change that. Stay tuned…

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