PAT O’LEARY’S NIGHTINGALE

If you had asked me, a few months ago, to tell you all I knew about Patrick O’Leary, I would have said, “Wonderful bass player — a real melodic sensibility and strong time — and an extraordinary jazz cellist.  Witty fellow, a good sort.”  And I would have directed you to some of the videos I’ve taken at The Ear Inn for proof.  But that estimate, which remains true, would have sold Mr. O’Leary short as a classical composer and arranger, someone able to integrate jazz improvisation and folk material into classical forms (vocal as well as instrumental) doing justice to all the music. 

I wouldn’t make such claims without musical evidence.  Here is  the third section from Pat’s MONTENEGRO JAZZ SUITE, his choral / symphonic improvisations on the Monenegrin folk song “Slavjo Poje,” which translates appropriately as “Nightingale.”

Pat explains, “Maja Popovich asked me to write a suite of pieces based on Montenegrin folk music for choir, string ensemble, and jazz quartet.  Stjepko Gut played the trumpet and flugelhorn, Ehud Asherie, piano; Tom Melito, drums, and I played bass and arranged.  Zoja Durovic conducted the choir and Irena Vukovic conducted the string ensemble. This concert was filmed at The Kic Center in Podgorica, Montenegro on June 21, 2009. Everyone did a great job considering the amount of time allowed for rehearsal(s).”

For my readers who have a classical background, see if the string writing isn’t reminiscent of Vaughan Williams or perhaps Barber’s ADAGIO FOR STRINGS — and for jazz listeners who might be less patient, wait a bit and your patience will be rewarded by marvelous playing from the quartet.  Bravo!

And other sections of the MONTENEGRO JAZZ SUITE are accessible on YouTube: visit Pat’s channel, “usenewsyuleooze,” a name that will make much more sense when muttered aloud.

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4 responses to “PAT O’LEARY’S NIGHTINGALE

  1. A name new to me but one to be reckoned with.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention PAT O’LEARY’S NIGHTINGALE « JAZZ LIVES -- Topsy.com

  3. Walt Finnerty

    Do you have an email address for Pat? I lived in the apt underneath Pat while we were in college. I was a self taught funk bass player and I knew I drove Pat crazy as I was not in music school but still trying to play/learn Brothers Johnson tunes from the turntable. I would repeat the same song and same mistakes over and over. Pat and his boys used to laugh about it to no end

  4. Sheila Di Maggio

    Hi Walt,

    I’m Pat’s sister and I will be happy to give you his email: lobito1955@gmail.com. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you! He’s on tour having just completed a concert in Serbia where he arranged/composted music for the govt. Sheila Di Maggio

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