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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Formative Years
Category: Early Experiences
From: KC JAM (KC, MI)

There is a noticeable "midwestern flavor" to a lot of your music which, some might say, can be traced to your beginnings right here in Kansas City. If you'd spent your formative years as a jazz musician in a place far removed from KC and the midwest, do you think you'd still sound the same today?

Pat’s Answer:

That's an interesting question. I do think that every musician is born with a single, individually unique "song" in them. But how they go about finding it, developing it and exploring it is where the geographical and cultural climate that surrounds them really kicks in. In my case, the years that I spent in Kansas City playing around town and being exposed to the very high level of musicianship and artistry that I was privileged to be a part of at such a young age affected me deeply, no question. Also, there is something very unique and special about the midwest, period. It's a vibe thing... but then it's more than that. I've often theorized about the midwestern geography affecting an aesthetic; you know, the sheer amount of "space" that exists. That leaves lots of room for things to happen and for people to dream up stuff. It was never a coincidence to me that so many of my favorite players originally came from the midwest and that so many of them had a new thing to offer to the development of the form. They were people who, at some point in their lives, often early, had a lot of time to conceptualize things that came out as music. And of course, for me, just the historical aspect of being from a place like Kansas City -- a city that has such an important place in the history of jazz -- was always there. That was always something I had a lot of respect for.