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--- Dec 29 2000 Go to category
Subject: Your identity
Category: General Musical Conception
From: Ron DiCesare (Brooklyn, NY)

Hi Pat,

I've been a long time fan of yours, about 20 years now, and there is one thing that has consistently amazed me about your playing. That is the ability to sound like your self, regardless of the musical situation. One note and I can immediately tell it's you. It doesn't matter if it's on the Hornsby records, the Brecker stuff, ZTFS, all the group stuff, etc. Nor does it matter which guitar you are playing. This is the most defining feature of a truly legendary musician in my opinion. Miles had this, as well as Jaco, Brecker, Gadd, Zawinul, etc.

Please elaborate on this for me. I'd love to know how conscious or unconscious this is on your part along with any other thoughts you might have on this subject. In closing, I have a very old interview from back in 79 or so with you titled, "finding your own voice" . You have done so in a big way, right from the start. Thanks for your time and all the great music.

Ron DiCesare

Pat’s Answer:

hi ron,

well, thanks - that is about the biggest compliment i guess that you could give me, since that goal of trying to find a way of defining my thing that is somewhat removed from genre has been a primary one pretty much right from the beginning.

there was a young trumpet player that i used to play with all through high school named dave scott. dave has continued to grow and play his ass off over the years and is around new york again after living in los angeles for a number of years. i remember that dave and i used to have long talks about the idea of the "conception" of the music being removed from the notes that you actually played and working specifically on that - especially when it came to sound itself. this idea i think parallels a lot of what ornette talks about in his writings about harmolodics - the ability to forge ones intentions on a sort of base level - what i think he would call harmolodic unison - that is almost unrelated to the piece in question or the "style" of music. for me, the idea is to find oneself through losing oneself in the matrix of all of the elements that each playing situation seems to invoke. that is what i try to do - and you always hope for the best, certainly sometimes (often) it doens't work out at all. but your note offers some consolation and encouragement - thank you!