Project Trio: When Will Then Be Now
[C] 2012 Project Trio
Years ago, when I first heard the "beatboxing flutist" on YouTube and before I knew anything about him, I could hear that this virtuoso had extensive classical training, so I asked around and discovered that he is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music. While studying in the conservatory setting--and to this day--the "beatboxing flutist" Greg Pattillo spends time on the streets and in the subway system honing his skills as a busker. Since achieving his fame on YouTube, Pattillo has become known worldwide for his diverse skill set, one small component of which is his beatboxing. He is also a talented jazz musician, arranger, composer, and clinician, and a solid classical flutist. It is that combination of technical prowess, creative raw energy, and zeal for life that makes Greg Pattillo so special.
Pattillo's recent performances, including that on the CD here under review, have in large part been devoted to his work with the Project Trio (Pattillo, flute; Peter Seymour, bass; and Eric Stephenson, cello). This CD is full of remixed classical pieces by Beethoven, Bach, and Rossini. My personal favorite of these is the group's rendition of the William Tell Overture, full of wit as well as ensemble cohesion. I do not think that their Bach arrangements work particularly well, however.
Listening to the group's original compositions on this CD, I can visualize its members in live performance. Their collective smiles, communication, and obvious love for music are infectious. My personal favorite piece here is "Raga Raja"; the delicate ebbs and flows of energy are fantastic. "The Stacks" is lighthearted fun. "Donna Lee," originally composed by Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, fills out the album and demonstrates the most traditional jazz playing to be found on the album.
This CD is a great reminder of the whole of what we do. As professional musicians, we work to achieve the highest possible level of technical proficiency, yet sometimes in the process we lose the creativity of the music. This album has both.