Spaceman Patterson

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Spaceman Patterson
Also known asWilliam "Billy" Patterson
BornAugust 18, 1954
New Brunswick, New Jersey
OriginNew York City
Years active1976–present

William "Spaceman" Patterson is a guitarist and producer, who has collaborated with Miles Davis, James Brown and Frank Ocean.[1][2][3]


Spaceman Patterson played guitar in the live band of Melvin Van Peebles

Spaceman Patterson was one of the musicians in Miles Davis' touring line-up in the 1980s.[4][5] In 1992, Patterson provided music for Ntozake Shange's The Love Space Demands, an adaptation of some of her poetry.[6][7] In 1995, Patterson produced Melvin Van Peebles' 1995 album Ghetto Gothic.[8] In 2003, he was musical director for the play Dream on Monkey Mountain presented at the Harlem School of the Arts.[9]

In 2008, Patterson was enlisted to produce a hip hop album for Bill Cosby.[10][11][12][13] Known at that time for his comedic work and not for performing hip hop, Cosby's album came as a surprise to some.[14] Patterson told the Associated Press that when Cosby contacted him about making the album, "people started speculating, is he going to rap about Jell-O Pudding Pops or what?"[14] The resulting release, titled The Cosnarati: State Of Emergency, came out on November 14, 2009, on World Alert Music.

In 2016, Spaceman Patterson played guitar on multiple Frank Ocean recordings, including the albums Endless and Blonde. As of 2018, at least 20 hours of outtakes from Patterson's Frank Ocean sessions have not been released.[15]


Per each album's liner notes.[16]

Studio albums[edit]

With Jamaica Boys[edit]

  • 1987: Jamaica Boys (Warner Bros)
  • 1989: J Boys (Warner Bros)
  • 1990: Shake It Up (Warner Bros)

With J-Funk Express[edit]

  • 1993: Getting Back To My Roots (Pioneer)
  • 1995: This is Rare Groove (99 Records)

As producer[edit]

  • 1983: Trademark – Uh-huh! (Move'n Groove Records)
  • 1995: Melvin Van PeeblesGhetto Gothic (Capitol Records)
  • 1996: MonifahMoods... Moments (Universal)
  • 2009: Bill CosbyThe Cosnarati State of Emergency (World Alert Music)

As sideman[edit]

With James Blood Ulmer[edit]

  • 1980: Are You Glad to Be in America? (Rough Trade)
  • 1993: Blues Preacher (Columbia)

With Miles Davis[edit]

  • 1989: Amandla (Warner Bros)
  • 2001: 1986-1991: The Warner Years (Warner Bros)

With David Sanborn[edit]

  • 1992: Upfront (Elektra)
  • 1994: Hearsay (Elektra)

With Frank Ocean[edit]

  • 2016: Endless (Def Jam)
  • 2016: Blonde (Boys Don't Cry)

With others


  1. ^ "Who the Hell Is Spaceman? A Cosmic Convo with Frank Ocean's Mystery Guitarist". Pitchfork. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  2. ^ "Frank Ocean Has Hours of Unreleased Blonde and Endless Recordings". Pitchfork. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  3. ^ "Billy "Spaceman" Patterson". Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  4. ^ Mandel, Howard (2007). Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz. Routledge. p. 304. ISBN 978-0415967143. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  5. ^ Willis, John; Hodges, Ben (2005). Theatre World 2002-2003. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 372. ISBN 978-1557836359. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  6. ^ Klein, Alvin (March 22, 1992). "THEATER; Poems on the Politics of Seduction". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "The Love Space Demands". The Kennedy Center. March 29, 1992. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  8. ^ Kubernik, Harvey (2006). Hollywood Shack Job: Rock Music in Film and on Your Screen. University of New Mexico Press. p. 415. ISBN 978-0826335425. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  9. ^ Weber, Bruce (October 14, 2003). "THEATER REVIEW; An Old Man Fights for His Kingly Tribal Dream". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  10. ^ Ben, Party (16 April 2008). "Music: Bill Cosby, Hip-Hop Producer?". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  11. ^ Fekadu, Mesfin (3 December 2009). "SOUND BITES: Rihanna's CD is decent, but uneven". Associated Press. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  12. ^ Ragogna, Mike (22 March 2010). "State Of Emergency: A Conversation With Bill Cosby and the Cosnarati". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  13. ^ Allah, Dasun (20 May 2010). "The Man Holding The Mirror: Why Hip-Hop Needs To Listen To Bill Cosby [Video]". HipHopWired.
  14. ^ a b "Bill Cosby to Release Hip-Hop Album". Fox News. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Frank Ocean Guitarist Spaceman Says The Singer Has A Lot Of Unreleased Music". The FADER. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  16. ^ "William "Spaceman" Patterson | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-11-11.

External links[edit]