Pat Battstone’s new album, “Dream Notes” is a melding of music and art. The improvisations that he and Giorgia Santoro worked out in response to a piece of visual art called “Appunti Onirici.” The visual art was completed by Daniela Chionna. The work that the musicians have created as a result of the artwork gives the album a dreamy, artistic feel. Crystalline notes, moody textures all draw listeners in. The idea of beauty presents itself on the album and never leaves until long after the listening session has completed.
Music for art’s sake: “Dream Notes” and Pat Battstone
There is no denying the sense of beauty at work on any of the 11 songs on “Dream Notes.” When audiences find that the catalyst for the recording is a rather emotional piece of art, wherein a bare tree stretches forth its branches against a partially darkened background. The idea of yearning, of being more than what the present offers is conveyed through the vision. That is also what happens when listeners engage with the music presented by Battstone and Santoro. Not entirely escapist, the work does allow listeners to feel as though their senses (and perhaps sense of self) have been heightened. It is cerebral without being off-putting, an effect that is rarely accomplished.
About Pat Battstone and Giorgia Santoro
Battstone is no stranger to jazz fans. A longtime musician who became a professional at age 14, Battstone is a pianist who has studied with Stan Kenton and Gary Burton. He also played with some of James Brown’s sidemen and members of the musical “Hair.”
In 1973, Battstone began his studies at Berklee College of Music. He received more first-rate training from notable teachers. Throughout the years, Battstone has played rock, blues, r&b, and jazz. The Southern Ohio native returned to jazz in 1986. He is known as being a fluid player as both a leader and a soloist. His work feels seamless and unobtrusive, which might be what people appreciate most about his work with Santoro. As part of his musical adventure, Battstone has gone to Puglia, Italy. There he has recorded and produced seven CDs with Italian musicians and vocalists.
Santoro graduated with highest honors in flute and jazz music. Later, she specialized in piccolo, jazz, Didactics of the Instrument and as a flute specialist. Santoro has undertaken many masters courses in Italy to further study flute, piccolo and jazz improvisation. On “Dream Notes,” she plays flute, bass flute, bansuri, Xiao, piccolo, mouth harp, effects and even contributes her voice.
“Dream Notes” is as ambitious as it is beautiful. A must-listen for anyone wishing to follow Battstone’s career, or Santoro’s for that matter. “Dream Notes” was made available to the public Nov. 15, 2019. It is available at fine retailers everywhere.