From the opening infectious and danceable notes rhythmically tapped out by keyboardist Patrick Cooper on Struttn, the first radio single from his second album, The Way It Used To Be, the vibe is instantly set for a throwback collection that puts a contemporary spin on vintage jazz funk. The disc comprised of eight original songs penned and produced by Cooper that celebrate the best qualities of the past.
Coopers loving salute to music from the seminal experimental days when soulful R&B balladry and grooves, free-spirited improvisational jazz and feel-good funk first intersected adopts the best traits from that bygone era. Coopers recipe begins with writing quality songs. His potent hooks constructed of memorable melodies meaningfully touch and inspire. Coopers piano and keyboards occupy the throne in the kingdom of organically produced tracks outfitted with live drums, bass, guitar and sax along with soothing vocal and horn section swatches that add warmth, lilt and animation.
Joining Cooper in the studio were bassists David Dyson, Tommy Tordsson and Corey Baker, drummers Dwayne Thomas, Jay Williams and Mark Stewart, guitarists Stanley Cooper, Alvin White and Robert WaWa LeGrand, saxophonists Phillip Doc Martin and Bryan Mills, and vocalist Nehemiah Booker. Tony Hemming contributed additional keyboards and co-produced the single and title track with Cooper, an artist who has the passion and ambition to build an enduring musical brand by creating music that follows the fundamentals and ideals of yesteryear.
“I titled the album The Way It Used To Be with the goal of capturing the sound and spirit from music produced decades ago. To me, it feels like artists have gotten away from writing music with substance and significance. When I look at the body of music created by artists like George Duke, The Crusaders and a myriad of other jazz greats that influence my work, its amazing how they were able to blend sounds and to work magic with the keys. Thats the sound and style I had in mind. I believe that the best music from our past forms the foundation from which the best music of today and tomorrow emerges,” Cooper stated.
While growing up in Portland, Oregon, Cooper was fascinated by the harmonies, color and voicing created by church organists and keyboardists. He taught himself how to read music and jazz theory. By 18, he became his churchs primary keyboardist and organist. A few years later, he honed his songwriting skills in the secular world by playing in a popular local contemporary jazz band, N-Touch, that garnered acclaim via performances at clubs and festivals.
After a move to Washington, DC a decade ago, Coopers music career began to flourish via recording collaborations with Dyson, Martin, Jackiem Joyner, Marcus Johnson, and Jaared. He has shared the concert stage with Nick Colionne, Michael Lington, Freddie Jackson, Bobby Lyle, Regina Belle, Mike Phillips, Marion Meadows, Maysa, and Kim Waters. Cooper appeared on television as the musical director for the nationally syndicated series Eighty-One-O-One (8101).
In 2007, he released his debut album, That Day, which was reissued the following year as Vibin after adding two new tracks and landing a distribution deal. The title track earned most added honors at radio where it peaked at #38 on the charts. Additional information is available at www.pcoopjazz.com.
– Great Scott PR