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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: breakthroughs
Category: General Questions
From: sam esposito (bethesda,md)

pat - we've all had those certain points we reach in life that marks a special point (breakthrough if you will)i'm sure you've had a few and i was wondering are there any that specifically that stand out? also, do you think bringing paul & steve into the group brought you to that "next level" of playing? was it a conscious decision on your part? as always, thanks for the great music ... and my wife, karen, says hello!

Pat’s Answer:

it does seem like we all go through periods of hills and valleys and those sudden periods where, almost overnight, everything seems to change, to get better.

for me, there were a bunch of these one right after another from the time i started until a really big one when i was about 18 or so - where it seemed like in a very short period of time i went from sounding like a bad wes montgomery imitator to, well, an embryonic bad imitation of what i sound like now!

there was a big conceptual one around 1976, when i was playing with gary burton - it was about 4 months after mick goodrick had left the band, i had been doing the gig for several years by then, jaco had just been asked to join weather report, and suddenly i just started playing different. better, i think.

what was weird, was that gary, who was my boss and whose opinion i really respected (and still do), really didn't dig the "new me" that much. that became a point of conflict for awhile.

there was another big jump for me around 1980 - it seemed like after really fighting the instrument for years, one day i could suddenly (it seemed) play it about 10 times better. it was just suddenly easier and clearer for me to know what to do with it.

i'm waiting for the next one - i think i'm overdue!