Dan Pratt is a force to be reckoned with on the New York jazz scene, one of today's top young tenor saxophonists, and a gifted composer, all evidenced on his quartet's debut recording, Springloaded. Pratt began his studies as a classical baritone saxophonist in his native Saratoga, CA before switching to tenor. He was accepted to the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Band, directed by the late trumpeter and Duke Ellington alumnus, Bill Berry and with this band he experienced his first taste of the international jazz scene, touring throughout Japan and performing at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival. Pratt went on to the Berklee College of Music in 1994, surrounding himself with many fellow artists (including Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno), who were exploring music of all forms. During this time the saxophonist benefited from working with legends such as Bob Brookmeyer, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, and many others.
After graduating with honors in 1997, he made the pilgrimage to the Big Apple. Within two years he was performing with the Village Vanguard Orchestra, and in 1999 he formed the quintet Vista with trumpeter Erik Jekabson. With the release of their critically praised debut album The Arrival in 2000, they toured through New York and New Orleans to rave reviews. The Dan Pratt Organ Quartet was formed in the fall of 2001. Pratt can also be heard all over town with a variety of artists including The Christian McBride Big Band, Jamie Begian's big band, the Fat Cat Orchestra, the Big Bad Big Band, and the Rachel Eckroth Nonet.
Pratt exemplifies the approach of DPOQ. He composed most of the tunes on Springloaded, using challenging and unorthodox formal devices. Yet the tunes are accessible and melodic, and some of them, such as the uptempo burner Who Knew, have the potential to become jazz standards. On tenor sax, Pratt has a huge, warm sound, and he improvises creatively and aggressively. He might play against the rhythm, and more often, he digs in and swings, as on Blues With A Limp.
--Marc Meyers, All About Jazz
A warm, invigorating blast of N.Y.C. jazz energy recently blew through town, when the Dan Pratt Organ Quartet showed up at the Firebird Lounge