Patrick grew up in Bay
City, Michigan where he began playing the guitar and trumpet at age 6. Sticking
with the guitar, he began to play clubs at the ripe age of 14. He toured with a
fusion jazz group "Clockwork" in the late 70's before returning to
school to study music.
After moving to San Diego in 1982 he has established
himself as a session musician and live performer in L.A. and San Diego. He has
performed with Carl Evans Jr. of Fattburger, J Michael Verta, Greg Vail, and a
host of other top musicians and vocalists in the southern California region.
His music can be heard on the radio, television, and
the worldwide Muzak corporation. He has been nominated as one of San Diegos top
jazz musicians. Patricks 1998 release, "A Lasting Embrace" has been
heard internationally. One of the tracks off that release made it on to a 'best
of' smooth jazz release in Europe entitled "The Soul of Smooth Jazz
vol.2". This release can be ordered through Tower records or the UK site
Patricks music can be found right alongside Boney
James, Bobby Caldwell, Richard Elliot, and other big names in the contemporary
and smooth jazz genre on this 1999 release. Patricks music continues to grow and
expand with this artists wide variety of musical styles and his undying love for
Patrick Yandall - Smooth Jazz
"A LASTING EMBRACE "
Smooth jazz guitarist Patrick Yandall second release and his first on this internationally known label. Artists such as Kilauea, Greg Vail, J Michael Verta, Richard Smith, Pocket Change can all be found on this very prestigious label BrainChild Records .
This release with its urban flavor and Rythm and Blues influence highlights Patricks wonderful compositions and incredible virtuosity on the guitar. Soulful instrumentals complimented by a beautiful love ballad sung by Calvin Romance.
Featured Contributing Artists:
on sax and flute. Former saxman from Kilauea and well into his solo
career on the BrainChild Records label. One of the top session musicians in
- Formerly with Sheena Easton and a vast amount of recording projects
brings his incredible talent as producer and handling all of the keyboardwork.
on bass. Boney James, Jeff Lorber, Natalie Cole, and many other top name
artists utilize this very talented and soulful bassmans sound. Featured
on"Artful Expression", a song Patrick dedicated to Art Porter.
on drums. Natalie Cole and longtime drummer for Chaka Kahn. A 'groovemaster"
and featured on "Groove to Go".
on percussion. What album "isn't" he on! From Dave Koz, Quincy
Jones, Barbera Striesand, to Aerosmith. This incredibly talented individual
creates moods and highlights sections the way no other percussionist can.
vocal on "It's Alright" reflects of Luther, Freddy, and many
other of the great balladeers. We'll all be hearing much more of Mr. Romance in
"OF TWO CITIES"
The title of Patrick Yandall's new album Of Two Cities is, for the literary
minded, a takeoff of the classic Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities. More to the
point for this eclectic guitarist and consummate working musician, however, is
its reference to his busy, freeway filled lifestyle running from gig to gig,
studio to studio in San Diego and Los Angeles.
Over the past year, in the midst of all the activity, he looked back over
his two previous smooth jazz oriented albums, That Feels Nice (1992) and A
Lasting Embrace (1999), and realized that while both he and the public liked
them, they didn't quite express the entire palette of his musical heart. An
artful, rhythmic and melodic blend of rock, blues, R&B/funk, jazz and
fusion, Of Two Cities more perfectly captures the soul of the artist.
"I'm grateful for all the work I do as a sideman, but recording
albums is truly what I live for," he says enthusiastically. "I took a
year off to spend with my baby son Marcus, and then had to get right back into
the studio and work on new material. A lot of the music on A Lasting Embrace was
originally written for other composing projects, and I didn't feel that I was
painting a full picture of myself. I only used one acoustic guitar, while this
time I played a lot of electric guitar to show an edgier side of myself. It's as
if I limited myself before, and Of Two Cities is like a coming out party. For me
the thread through each of the songs is the freedom I felt to express myself any
way I could."
The Bay City, Michigan native once again collaborated in the studio with
producer/keyboardist Andre Mayeux, who produced A Lasting Embrace. Yandall
complements his multi-faceted guitarisma this time with two of the biggest names
on the Southern California studio and club scenes, bassist Jerry Watts and
saxman Greg Vail.
Of Two Cities opens with "Marcus," a moody, swaying retro-soul
flavored tribute to Yandall's son (who was named after famed bassist Marcus
Miller!), then rips into the bright, edgy funk of the title track with a playful
dance between electric guitar and sax. Mayeux simulates a crisp, seductive
Fender Rhodes flavor on the hypnotic, cool ballad "Nocturnal
Maneuvers," and contributes an elegant piano solo to his own composition,
the dreamy, acoustic guitar driven "City of Dreams." Yandall
brilliantly mixes acoustic and electric on the explosive ode to "Mt.
Pleasant" (the location of his alma mater Central Michigan University)
before engaging in a blistering electric rock-blues explosion on "200
Watts" (named for the bass player). Any hardworking musician can relate to
the theme behind the simmering electric guitar ballad "Playing the
Price"--it's Yandall's acknowledgement of paying his proverbial dues. One
of the album's most fun free for alls is "Blues on 5th Avenue," which
captures the wild energy of Manhattan mixing electric guitar, sax and blues and
jazz vibes. A thick percussive groove brings to life "A Night at Seau's"
(named for a popular San Diego nightclub), while "Cajun Blue" and
"Just For the Asking" find Yandall rocking, rolling, getting bluesy
and basically celebrating every reason he ever became a guitarist.
Yandall's wife will sometimes tease the guitarist that he's staring into
space, off thinking of new music in his mind again, at the most inappropriate
moments. "All I can say is that music is part of my soul," he says.
"I wake up thinking about it, and go to bed doing the same. It's great to
have the opportunity to play and be appreciated."
His jazz musician father and the long recuperation time from a broken hip
led him to try the trumpet and guitar at age six, and by thirteen Yandall was
playing with jazz and rock bands in underage clubs. Equally adept at the
progressive rock of Genesis and yes and the more complex ideas of jazz, Yandall
chose to focus on fusion based on a summer symposium at the Berklee College of
Music and his admiration for the pop/soul/jazz stylings of keyboard great Jeff
Lorber. "I discovered that my playing was compatible with the way a jazz
oriented player could stretch out and improvise at any time," he recalls.
Yandall's electric guitar sound owes a bit as well to heavy childhood
influences George Benson and Wes Montgomery. As for blues, "there's always
been a lot of blues in jazz. Blues started with jazz. It's all related." He
moved out from Michigan to San Diego after high school, but went back to briefly
attend Central Michigan University. In between his studies, he hooked up with
the jazz/fusion group Clockwork and wound up touring with them for two years,
opening for artists like Chick Corea and Jean Luc Ponty.
He moved back to San Diego in the early 80s, where he immediately hooked
up with Devotion, a popular Earth, Wind & Fire type band with a five piece
horn section. He later did studio work with the well known production company
Jam Power, and co-wrote and played with The Chill, an R&B outfit signed to
While keeping extraordinarily busy in San Diego and Los Angeles--in
addition to headlining his own shows, his latest longterm side gigs are with
Fattburger's Carl Evans, Jr. and R&B vocalist Calvin Romance, and he does
numerous solo shows), Yandall released two albums in the 90s--the fusion
oriented That Feels Nice (1992) and the smooth jazz flavored A Lasting Embrace
(1997). He recorded the second album for Dean Whitney's label Brainchild, which
launched the career of Russ Freeman in the mid-1980s.
"My two biggest goals as a musician were to make a living making
music and having audiences appreciate what I do," he says. "I've
achieved those so far, but I'm always trying to reach higher and stay better
focused on my writing and playing. Playing for audiences and making them happy
is still the ultimate."
The title Of Two Cities may be centered around Yandall's busy Southern
California-based career, but its exciting array of musical styles is bound to
cause a universal stir. Dickens' novel begins, "It was the best of
times...it was the worst of times..." It doesn't take a genius to know
which times these are for Yandall at the start of the new millennium.
Widran of JAZZIZ magazine
Patrick Yandall released in March 2002 his further album
Back to the Groove. A review about this album is here: