10 Questions for Will Patton

By Ted Eschliman
April 24, 2011 - 6:00 pm

Vermont based jazz mandolinist Will Patton Vermont based jazz mandolinist Will Patton

One might say Bebop jazz has recently found a very unlikely home in the mandolin. Through the frets and apt fingers of Vermonter Will Patton, this is especially true, the experienced jazzer has plead a most convincing case that the blistering, harmonically fluid style of music makes sense, even on a "folk" instrument built four decades before the inception of the genre.

"General" Patton's signature sound vintage Gibson A mandolin not only reincarnates the souls of Dizzy, 'Trane, and Bud Powell, it croons marvelously throughout his now decade-long discography with other eclectic styles like South American Choro, and the sweet Gypsy sounds of Django Reinhardt and his Manouche kin. On the verge of releasing his fifth CD, the master has established himself as one of a handful of jazz mandolin global titans.

We took some time to pick the brain of this most innovative of musicians, one who started his professional career on the bass, and you might quip, worked his way up (register-wise) to the mandolin. We appreciate the way Will has innovated the mandolin, pulling (and picking) it in an exciting new and unconventional direction.


 — Ted Eschliman
     Writer/Music Industry Consultant

Will Patton Ensemble - Bebop in Pastel

Bebop in Pastel, by Sonny Stitt. From Will's forthcoming recording Flow.