Patricia Dean and the legendary Grady Tate are among the few artists in the history of Jazz who play drums and sing, and who do both at an exceptional level. There's probably a reason for the scarcity of Jazz drummers who sing, perhaps because it takes a lifetime to master just one of those arts, but the fact is, as listeners will hear on this superb recording, Patricia Dean is no mere singing drummer or drumming singer. As a drummer, she's an inspiring and supremely tasteful time-keeper, accompanist and soloist. As a Jazz vocalist, Dean is swinging, sensitive, and, quite simply, just wonderfully musical.
This Tampa, Florida, native was literally and figuratively surrounded by music while growing up. Her father a clarinetist and alto saxophonist recorded with Bobby Sherwood on the Capital recording of Sherwood's Forrest later switched to piano and her brother played bass. But the person who, as she says, totally blew me away, was none other than the singer/drummer Karen Carpenter. My fascination with the drums and singing came about when I first saw her, Dean says. I knew that that's what I wanted to do.
Dean went through her banging on pots and pans stage while playing with The Carpenter's records, though in Dean's case, it was pillows and then aluminum foil-covered boxes that took the place of the cookware. Finally, she got an actual drum set, began studying privately and really playing, at the age of 11. She played her first professional job with her father and brother when she was 14.