ABOUT MY MUSIC by Patrick Hazell Reviews PATRICK HAZELL'S MP3 SITE Home Page
(For a review of Patrick Hazell's diverse music styles by English writer, Pat Missin, go here)
I am generally regarded as a blues and boogie musician from the upper Midwest of the United States. I began to teach myself how to play boogie woogie piano in 1956 and by 1961 was beginning to play my first "professional" shows. Though boogie piano was my start, at the same time I quickly began to explore other ways to improvise music outside the standard blues and boogie forms. However, it became obvious that this more introverted, impressionistic jazz approach was not popular with most Midwestern audiences. Boogies and blues were even considered "alternative" in a region where anything outside of rock'n'roll and country music is for the most part ignored or even shunned. I remember in the late 1970s some club owners expressed concern that the name the Mother Blues Band might turn potential customers away because of the use of "blues" in the name! Outside of religious and educational institutions the majority of venues for professional music in the Midwest have been bars, nightclubs, dance halls, and roadhouses. Customers in such venues generally want up-tempo, dance music and this is the music I played in my live shows and is the music I am generally known for.
Of course I love to play boogies and blues, especially for a dancing and partying audience. But, I also love to play all the other things I write, and much of it is not easily pigeon-holed into the blues or boogie category. This other side to my music is something people rarely hear live because most venues are simply not appropriate places to attempt to play it. But, I do record it. At least 2/3rds of of my 33 albums feature music that I normally don't attempt to play live. Afterall, recordings are a different medium than is a live show. It is exactly the difference between a writer giving a speech to an audience or writing a book for them to read and contemplate in their individual privacy. Put another way, would you expect a visual artist to set an easel upon the stage and repaint a painting he or she is already famous for? In many ways I believe in "occasional music"---music played to fit the occasion. Unfortunately I seldom find myself in occasions where I feel comfortable playing a sizable part of my music catalog. So, in my privacy I record it with the hopes that in their privacy others will listen to and enjoy a recording of it.
Though blues idioms and voicings are found throughout my music, and a very deep blue feeling underlies most of it, only a few of my recordings are obviously traditional blues and boogie. The rest go in various directions that I hope some people will take the time and interest to explore. These recordings are also my personal favorites.
January 8, 2004