Patrick Wolff has been active in New York City for 8 years. Primarily
stylist, he has brought his voice to an eclectic
mix of styles and groups, from the old-school
swing of the Glenn Miller Orchestra to the
Nigerian roots music of Afrobeat ensemble
Asiko. His playing was featured in the 2001
education issue of Jazziz magazine, and he has
since established himself as a jazz educator
through 6 years on the faculty of Stanford Jazz Workshop. Wolff recently
released his fi rst album, “Petals,” as a leader, and fashioned
first-rate modern jazz trio, crafting a sound that emphasizes collective
thought and attention to
the music, rather than the promotion of a single soloist.
In order to get to know him better,
we asked Patrick to
answer a few questions about himself:
What is the first recording you remember hearing as
singing “My Girl”
on the soundtrack for “The Big Chill.””
Who is your favorite jazz musician under
the age of 30?
“How old is Ornette
What job would you have if you
weren’t a jazz
would love to own and run a
restaurant—I have had a lot of fun times working in them over the
years, and I think they are one
of the most stimulating work environments.”
strangest experience you've ever had on the bandstand?
“How about playing a
bunch of WWII anthems with the Glenn Miller Orchestra- in front of
a 1000-person audience in
Nagasaki, Japan—and then getting a standing ovation.”
What’s the most exotic place you‚ve
traveled to as a musician?
What’s the last book you’ve
“Oblivion, by David Foster
If you could play
with any other musician, living or dead (with whom you have not
played), who would it be and why?
“As far as living musicians go, I would
love to play with Geri Allen—she
has a depth and richness in her playing that knocks me out, and she
makes horn players sound
“For now, “Ruby, My Dear” by
favorite thing about being a Stanford Jazz Workshop faculty member?
the only three weeks of the year when I can forget everything in
my life other than music, and I
really believe in the educational approach we take here.”
favorite jazz venue?
“Well, the Coho, of course. The
Village Vanguard is okay,
Who is your greatest musical infl uence?
“I can’t pick one, but
Lester Young and Sonny Rollins
continue to affect my playing every day.”
If you were stranded
on a desert island and could only have three recordings with you,
what would they be?
“Sonny Rollins “Live at the Village Vanguard,” Lester
Young—all the stuff with
Basie and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan,“Live in Paris.”
How much do you practice each week?
“Roughly 168 hours.”
When did you become
interested in music, and what circumstances or events led to your
becoming a professional musician?
“I became interested
heavily around the age of 14.
Honestly, I’m still waiting for some of those circumstances
you speak of, but I do know that
every other line of work I’ve tried (and there have been a few) just don’t
feel right, and I’m just
not happy without the horn in my hands.”
If you were to describe your music as a
color, what color would it be and why?
As far as music goes, I think more in shapes than in colors, but
I know we try to have a lot of
variety in sounds, so there is hopefully a wide range of colors in
If you could be any
other type of artist other than a jazz musician, what would you
be and why?
“A cook—it is the only other art I can think of where the gratification
is as direct as with music.”