Pat Patrick (musician)

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Pat Patrick
Pat Patrick January 1981, jamming at a club in Portland, OR.jpg
Patrick in 1981
Background information
Birth nameLaurdine Kenneth Patrick Jr.
Born(1929-11-23)November 23, 1929
East Moline, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 31, 1991(1991-12-31) (aged 62)
Moline, Illinois
GenresAvant-garde jazz, free jazz, experimental, swing
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsBaritone saxophone, alto saxophone, bass guitar
Associated actsSun Ra, Mongo Santamaría, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Babatunde Olatunji, NRBQ

Laurdine Kenneth "Pat" Patrick Jr. (November 23, 1929 – December 31, 1991) was an American jazz musician and composer. He played baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, and Fender bass and was known for his 40-year association with Sun Ra.[1][2][3] His son, Deval Patrick, was governor of Massachusetts.

Early life[edit]

Patrick was born in East Moline, Illinois, to Laverne and Laurdine Patrick, Sr.[2] His father (1905–2001), a native of Kansas, worked as an iron moulder at a factory at the time of his son's birth.[1]

Patrick first learned piano, drums, and trumpet as a child, and then switched to saxophones.[4] He attended and studied music at DuSable High School in Chicago, where he met future bassist Richard Davis and future saxophonists John Gilmore and Clifford Jordan.[5] Patrick was baritone saxophonist for the Regal Theater's house band while still at school.[5] "In 1949 he enrolled at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, but he soon returned to the Chicago area to study at Wilson Junior College."[5]

Later life and career[edit]

Patrick first played in one of Sun Ra's bands as part of a trio around 1950.[5] He played occasionally in Ra's Arkestra from around the same time, and then became a regular band member in 1954.[5] In February 1955, Patrick married Emily Wintersmith in Cook County, Illinois. His children with Emily were Deval Patrick and Rhonda Sigh. He had at least one child, La'Shon Anthony, outside his marriage.[6][7] In 1959, a woman called for Patrick and his wife asked for a message. This precipitated the breakup of his marriage that year.[1][8]

In 1960, Patrick left Emily, Deval and Rhonda, and moved out of their apartment. When four-year-old Deval chased after him, he slapped his son and continued.[9] He refused to sign Deval's application to Milton Academy, arguing that Deval would lose his African-American identity there. Deval, whose tuition was paid by scholarship, was accepted anyway.[1] Deval saw his father only rarely during his life.[6]

Patrick resided for several years in the Arkestra's communal residences in New York City's East Village and Philadelphia.[1] The Arkestra, with Patrick, moved to New York in 1961.[5] He also played with John Coltrane (appearing on Africa/Brass in 1961), Blue Mitchell (A Sure Thing, 1962), Mongo Santamaría ("Yeh, Yeh", which he composed,[5] and "Watermelon Man") and Thelonious Monk (early 1970s).[3] He also extensively backed Babatunde Olatunji.[1] In December 1965, Patrick was remarried in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Edna Jean Ballinger.

In 1972, Patrick co-founded the Baritone Saxophone Retinue, which recorded two albums for Saturn Records.[5] He toured Europe with Ra in 1970 and 1976, and was part of some other Arkestra performances in that decade, but he also devoted time to teaching at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.[5] He was a frequent member of the Arkestra again from 1986 to 1988.[5] Grove Music wrote that, "Patrick was a well-schooled, versatile soloist and ensemble player and made an important contribution to Sun Ra's music. Besides his principal instrument, which was baritone saxophone, he played flutes, bass, and percussion."[5] He died from leukemia[3] in Moline, Illinois, on December 31, 1991.[5]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

  • Sound Advice (Saturn, 1977)[5]

As sideman[edit]

With Terry Adams

  • That's the Way I Feel Now: A Tribute to Thelonious Monk (A&M, 1984)

With Jimmy Heath

With Andrew Hill

With Sam Jones

With Clifford Jordan

With Freddie McCoy

With James Moody

With A. K. Salim

With Rahsaan Roland Kirk

With Phil Upchurch


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jacobs, Sally (March 25, 2007). "Patrick shaped by father's absence". Boston Globe.
  2. ^ a b "Ancestry of Deval Patrick". Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Pat Patrick's Lost Treasures". NPR. March 27, 2010.
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Pat Patrick". AllMusic. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Hazell, Ed; Kernfeld, Barry (2003), Patrick, Pat [Laurdine Kenneth, Jr.], Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J347700
  6. ^ a b "'Lessons' From Deval Patrick: A (Not) Likely Story", NPR Books, April 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "Gov. Deval Patrick: Each of us has the capacity to teach, inspire, and ennoble – In the Arena". CNN.
  8. ^ Jacobs, Sally (March 25, 2007). "Patrick shaped by father's absence". The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ Hillary Chabot, "Gruff Deval Patrick rankled Beacon Hill", Boston Herald, April 12, 2011.