As music lovers it seems as though “we” never seem get enough “stuff” to quench or satisfy “our” undeserving souls. When I first saw the title “Distance” by the Brian Patneaude Quartet it prompted me to think about the time expenditures “we” delve into and hopefully stumble onto new and gratifying music. Yes, “we” as music junkies go the “Distance” and sometimes far exceed reasonable measures to satisfy our tastes. However, with that said, the time and effort to hunt down and discover new insightful and inspiring artists like Brian Patneaude Quartet is well worth the price of one to travel and enjoy the pleasantries and endure the pains of going the “Distance”. 


The Players: George Muscatello ~ guitar, Ryan Lukas ~ acoustic bass, Danny Whelchel ~ drums, Dave Payette ~ fender Rhodes (tracks 2, 3, & 6) and Brian Patneaude ~ tenor saxophone, Produced by Brian Patneaude for WEPA Records © 2005


It’s always exciting to hear and embrace new music for the first time. The opening track, “Change,” glows with the warmth and anticipation of a gratifying compilation of harmonically sounding music. From the first note the samba I’m attracted to Brian’s smooth and tenured horn textures that’s been dipped into a well-seasoned sauce that is easily digestible. Soon thereafter, guitarist George Muscatello quietly beckons my attention with hints and influences of Metheny like shades having softer tonality and colorful phrasings.


“Release” comes in at the second spot features Patneaude’s shimmering tenor horn stylings. The tempo of the track weaves back and forth giving each soloist ample opportunity to engage in a well-versed conversation that’s satisfying to listen to. Dave Payette on the Fender Rhodes adds the right measure of consistency by providing a sampling of his poignant stylings as a soloist.


So far the balance and the tone on “Distance” is very consistent. “Inspiration” composed by Patneaude arrives at its destination just in time and reminds me somewhat of a mid-tempo John Klemmer composition. At the five minute mark the groups interplay begins to soar and Brian’s playing is quite refreshing!


“Alone” falls in at the 4th position. It’s a dark and bluesy piece at the beginning of the selection. Brian’s full toned tenor is warm and filled with rich colors making it easy to adapt to the simplicity of the composition.


Patneaude’s composition vocabulary is vast by all means. The next selection “Red,” further states his intention as a writer and musician to explore and travel beyond what you might expect to hear.


The title cut, “Distance” comes in at the 6th spot. I know musicians in some cases hate comparisons to their peers, but I can’t help but hear the influences of John Klemmer’s or (maybe even Michael Brecker) in Patneaude’s tenor horn sound on more then a few of these beautifully orchestrated pieces composed by Patneaude.


“Unending” is the last tune on “Distance”. The tempo eases up a few notches, as the flow of the music grows with inspiring melodies and harmonies. At the 7:50 mark the group travels into somewhat different musical passage with the hints again of Metheny written into this soundscape perfectly. 


The Upstate New York natives BPQ has been keeping a very busy tour schedule in Northeast US, they’ve even been named “Best Jazz” by Metroland magazine in 2003. I haven’t had the opportunity to hear they’re critically acclaimed debut-cd “Variations,” however “Distance” will satisfy my curiosity for the moment. The musicians are in total control of their instruments and brilliantly composed eclectic music -- blend which gives the listener further reason to celebrate the music of “Distance”. Brian Patneaude as a composer and tenor horn player glistens with great potential and the groups’ strong presence compliments his efforts 100%.






q       Visit BPQ’s web space:

q       Listen too and purchase “Distance”:

q       Also check out “Variations”: