NPR logo Deval Patrick And Pat Patrick: Cosmic Tones, Cosmic Tomes

Deval Patrick And Pat Patrick: Cosmic Tones, Cosmic Tomes

Claiming a late pass, 'cause it's after St. Patrick's Day already. But this Boston Globe story on Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and his father Pat Patrick, of the Sun Ra Arkestra, is worth your time (H/T Rifftides):

The cultural legacy of Laurdine "Pat" Patrick, who died of leukemia in 1991, is like gold for music historians, said officials at the Berklee College of Music, who announced yesterday that they have received a vast collection of the musician's archives as a gift from his son, Governor Deval Patrick.

"It was a lot of stuff, and we weren't quite sure what to do with it, so we made contact with some cousins by marriage at Berklee," the governor said in an interview yesterday. "Berklee is here in Massachusetts. We wanted to have access to it here as a family."
He added: "The material offers real insights into my father's life and times, even for me."

The Massachusetts governor grew up estranged from his father, a baritone saxophonist whose career spanned a wide range of jazz styles — and a man who abandoned his family to continue that career. Only after Deval Patrick was in office did he find out about these personal effects:

"I got a call from a guy in East Moline who said he owned a storage facility," the governor said. "He said the storage facility had been emptied out except for his papers and stuff and that he had on a couple of occasions thrown them away but then gone back to the Dumpster and got them out, because he just couldn't bring himself to get rid of it."

The whole article, and a video piece to go along with it, are online, though the video doesn't do a great job of explaining Sun Ra's (and Pat Patrick's) strange appeal — only its strangeness. Fascinating narrative though. [Boston Globe: Berklee lands Patrick jazz treasure trove]