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Patrick Williams’ ‘Home Suite Home’ features many of LA’s finest musicians - Review from AXS

When Patrick Williams assembles 22 of Los Angeles’ finest musicians for a musical session, you better believe the results are going to be great. Williams is known for his excellence as a big band composer/arranger and has long been a favorite of the artists he called to participate on Home Suite Home, his latest recording for BFM Jazz.

Several award-winning musicians including Patti Austin, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Tierney Sutton, Dave Grusin, Tom Scott, Arturo Sandoval and Peter Erskine are just a few of the artists recruited for Home Suite Home. Williams’ big band project also features many Los Angeles-based session musicians who share their virtuosic insight and innate musicality.

The songs are a mix of new originals penned by Williams that form musical portraits of his three children, his wife, as well as a pair of tributes to favorite artists and a couple of original songs Williams dusted off after meaning to record them for several years. Patti Austin opens the set with a swinging version of “52nd & Broadway.” She scats her way into your heart and keeps this song at a peak with her great vocals.

Instrumental versions of Williams’ three part “Home Suite Home” compositions named for his children are next. “Home Sweet Home I. Elisabeth (The Beautiful Scientist)” is an upbeat gamut of emotions and moods with featured performances by Tom Scott and Bob Sheppard on tenor saxophones while the ballad “Home Sweet Home II. Greer (The Dreamer)” featuring Dan Higgins on alto saxophone is just that, dreamy and ethereal. “Home Suite Home III. Patrick B. (The Real Deal)” has an array of textures and tempi tempi featuring Erskine on drums, Tom Scott on tenor sax and Michael Stever on trumpet that you are sure to reflect upon and play more than once. Overall, this entire suite gives the listener true musical portraits of Williams’ offspring and attests to his brilliant songwriting integrity.

“Blue Mist” is a lovely ballad written for Williams’ wife Catherine and it’s one of those songs you can’t help but love at first listen because of its lush soundscapes, trumpet soloing by Arturo Sandoval, and sensitivity. His tribute to Neal Hefti during his time with Count Basie is titled “A Hefti Dose of Basie (To the Memory of Neal Hefti).” This ballad reveals the band’s great interplay and synergy as well as great soloing.

As the recording comes to a close, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Tierney Sutton sing a great duet titled “I’ve Been Around” and Williams capped off the session with his swinger “That’s Rich (For Buddy).” Featuring great drumming by Peter Erskine, this song is truly remarkable. Overall, Home Suite Home is big band music at its finest.

Paula Edelstein


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