Fruits & Nuts
'Patrick Pfeiffer brings finely articulated grooves, thoughtful ballad work, and head-turning solos to his debut solo release.' -Bass Player Magazine 'Patrick's teaching method showed me how to connect the bits of technique I'd collected into a playing style.' -Adam Clayton, Bass Player, U2 Known for a distinctive bass style that combines passion, disciplined fingerwork and an intuitive sense of rhythm, Patrick Pfeiffer draws frequent comparisons to his musical hero, bass player Jaco Pastorius. 'Although his style and sound owe much to Jaco, Patrick puts his own worthy stamp on the legacy,' said Bass Player Magazine. In Pfeiffer's own words, he is both '100 percent player and 100 percent teacher.' A much-in-demand bass instructor, Pfeiffer is highly-respected for his ability to guide musicians to the top of their talent. His gift for teaching attracts some of the world's most serious students. Simply look at the liner notes of U2's album 'Pop' and you'll see a 'thank you' from one of these pupils, U2's Adam Clayton. Other well-known students have included Alec John Such (of Jon Bon Jovi), Mark Wike (of Bogmen), Damon Martin (Naked). It's no coincidence that Pfeiffer is called 'the professional bass player's bass teacher.' Wanting to impart his knowledge to bass lovers everywhere, Pfeiffer wrote his book, In Search of the Groove, a thorough, intermediate to advanced bass player groove manual. Next came the bestselling, highly-praised Bass Guitar for Dummies (Wiley Publishing). 'Of the myriad tools available for bassists, Bass Guitar for Dummies is at the pinnacle of them all,' writes Will Lee, bass legend and bassist for The Late Show with David Letterman. 'Never before has such a complete anthology been assembled. It's like having an unlimited ticket for all the rides at BassLand!' Praise from UK's Bass Guitar Magazine is equally enthusiastic, '...what we have from Patrick Pfeiffer's book is a very complete and solid background to everything bass guitar related...' Pfeiffer credits his students with inspiration for the book--he recorded their questions, concerns and confusion, all of which he addressed while writing. Further, he mined his own past, attempting to write the very book he would have liked as a beginning bassist. Born in Bremen, Germany, to a music-loving family, Pfeiffer's musical career began not with the bass but with the xylophone at age 3 when his parents enrolled him in lessons. At age 7, Pfeiffer graduated to the piano, 'which I hated,' he says. 'I was required to practice one hour per day so I'd tape the first 1/2 hour of my practice, then play the tape back for the remaining 1/2 hour so my mother would think I was getting all my practicing in.' Then came the moment that changed Pfeiffer's life and gave him a reason to give up the piano: He discovered the Beatles. Awed by Paul McCartney's song-supporting grooves and his lady-luring ways, the 11-year-old Pfeiffer begged his parents for bass lessons. It was a good move. So talented was Pfeiffer, that his bass-playing and songwriting earned him the attention of the German record label 'Deutsche Gramophone' in 1977. Instead of pursuing a recording contract in his native Germany however, he left for America. Once in the U.S., Pfeiffer grew increasingly interested in the spontaneity and emotional expression of jazz. Seeking to marry his pop-rock background with his new passion, Pfeiffer began writing songs that combined jazz rhythms with rock bass lines. To deepen his jazz knowledge, he studied Jazz Performance at Arizona State University. He furthered his education under the tutelage of famed bassist Miroslav Vitous at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he graduated with honors, earning a Masters degree in Jazz. It was in Boston that Pfeiffer performed with such music legends as George Russell, Jimmy Guiffre, Mick Goodrick, and Sheila Jordan. After graduating, Pfeiffer relocated to New York City. It was during this period that Pfeiffer became the musical director for an international cruise line, a job which introduced him to various musical styles of the Caribbean. 'What I love about this style is the rhythmic interplay between the instruments,' says Pfeiffer. 'Everybody has a separate part. Nobody plays what anybody else plays but all of it makes the whole piece.' Studying these West Indian forms and drawing upon his own diverse musical background allowed him to perform with artists ranging from Baba Olatunji to Phoebe Snow to the notable pianist Paul Griffin, with whom Pfeiffer formed the band Phoenix in 1990. In 1999-after nearly a decade of playing East Coast clubs with Phoenix, working as a much sought-out studio musician, and developing a strong industry reputation as a gifted bass teacher-Pfeiffer decided it was time to bring together his diverse musical loves. The result is 'Fruits and Nuts,' Phoenix's debut CD, which features original compositions and arrangements. The album boasts virtuoso performances by Phoenix members and has earned kudos for it's infectious melodies, articulate grooves, complex rhythms, and passionate energy. While Pfeiffer is thoroughly enjoying the post-album, post-Dummies accolades, he refuses to rest on his laurels. He is currently performing and recording with a dynamic range of musicians, including the KMA All-Stars (a group of studio musicians at the KMA studio in NYC), George Clinton, Jimmy Norman (of The Coasters), Mikki Howard, Carlos Alomar, Lady Kyra, the Jeremiah Long Band, and Gary Corwin and the Dream Band. Furthermore, he's turned his pen toward a series of 'In Search Of' bass books, due out in the near future. And yes, he continues to teach, giving his famed Bass & Drum Clinics on Rhythm Section Styles. 'Ask not what music can do for you,' answers Pfeiffer when asked about his future plans. 'Ask what you can do for music.' For Pfeiffer, this means one thing: To continue making his own unique contributions to today's music scene.