Available Now on Same Island Music: Saxophonist Dan Pratt Celebrates Espousing Happiness and Forward-Thinking Mentality on Hymn for the Happy Man

Available Now on Same Island Music:
Saxophonist Dan Pratt Celebrates 
Espousing Happiness and Forward-Thinking 
Mentality on Hymn for the Happy Man 

Album Features Christian McBride, 
Gregory Hutchinson and Mike Eckroth

Following two critically acclaimed organ group outings, New York saxophonist-composer Dan Pratt heads in a different direction on Hymn for the Happy Man, his fourth recording overall and debut for his own Same Island Music imprint. “After eight years, the organ group had a great run, and I found myself looking for something new to do,” explains the California native and longtime Brooklyn resident. “So for this record I decided to go with the piano-bass-drums-sax quartet instrumentation, which is so foundational to jazz. It was one of those things that was staring me straight in the face and I couldn’t see it, but on reflection it was such clear choice. I’d never recorded a quartet record, and to go in the direction I wanted to go, I felt I needed to explore an instrumentation that is such an essential strand to jazz’s DNA.”
 
Pratt assembled his “dream team” of bassist Christian McBride, drummer Gregory Hutchinson and pianist Mike Eckroth to help him realize seven well-crafted originals and breathe new life into one well-chosen standard. The saxophonist-composer, a member of McBride’s big band, heaps high praise on his stellar sidemen for this simpatico session. “McBride and Hutch are incredibly open-minded and agile musicians. Christian is one of a kind. He has a pulse that is really unimpeachable and super singular. There’s nobody who plays the bass like him. Add to that his warmth and positivity, and you have a paragon of musicianship as well as humanity. With Greg, I didn’t tell him anything except for two or three words about the concept of a piece, and he just gave me something different with every take. Often, it was hard to decide on a take because everything he did was so incredibly compelling. The kind of surprises that I got from Christian and Greg were so delightful; they were things that I could never imagine explaining or asking for.”
           
The collection closes with Pratt’s unique interpretation of the Kurt Weill-penned jazz standard “Speak Low,” which incorporates some clever rhythmic devices to break things up in intriguing ways. “I realized that I’m increasingly interested in playing with space and form, and I want to carry that same sense of joy and play in the music that I write through my arrangements as well,” he explains. “So this arrangement is an example of that kind of playfulness. It starts out like any other standard arrangement of ‘Speak Low’ in a count-it-off-at-a-jam-session kind of way, but there’s a lot of very specific and subtle treatments done to the form and chord progression that just basically open up places where you wouldn’t necessarily normally have them opened up. I’m really just looking for opportunities for the unexpected to occur.”
           
Those kinds of surprises are prevalent throughout Hymn for the Happy Man, which stands as Pratt’s most ambitious and fully-realized recording to date. 

Dan Pratt – “Junket” 
Videographer: Matt Cowan

Dan Pratt · Hymn for the Happy Man
Same Island Music  ·  Release Date: June 3, 2016
 
For more information on Dan Pratt, please visit: DanPratt.com

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