Wines & Spirits
Released On: Sep 25, 2007
Released By: Artistry Music
The title of Wines & Spirits reflects Patterson's view of a life of small pleasures, and recognition of the spiritual in the mundane. "There's something very Biblical about it," Patterson says about the title phrase. "I remember as a kid driving around New York, whenever I would see a liquor store that said Wines & Spirits, it just struck me. I grew up Pentecostal and the whole thing with spirits and the gospel and the Holy Ghost, so it was all connected for me."
Musically, the new album ventures further into territory that Patterson has hinted at in the past: Ambient sound, rock, jazz, hip-hop, and gospel. As always, Patterson skillfully weaves multi-layered meanings into his lyrics the simplicity that gives the tunes a haunting quality. It is also an unapologetic expression of Patterson the man: while Wines & Spirits possesses the same sense of rambunctious musical joy that Rahsaan is known for, it's tempered by the knowledge that joy is often won through tears. The gritty funk of "Cloud 9" becomes an anthem for dancing away the blues, while the Sunday morning groove of "Feels Good" celebrates simple pleasures. The sensual, otherworldly flow of "Water" finds Patterson emotionally deluged after the loss of love, while his acoustic recording of the Janis Ian tune "Stars" is a sermon on the fleeting nature of fame. But Wines & Spirits -- three years in the making -- also bears raw emotional edges that reflect both the paranoia of the post-9/11 age and the pragmatic view of a man who has seen the abyss and now celebrates the moment. "No Danger" warns that love cannot exist in an atmosphere of fear; "Deliver Me" is a funky ditty of escape that breaks into an apocalyptic wail for redemption; and the hard hip-hop beats of "Time" offer a challenge to truly keep it real.
Throughout Wines & Spirits, Patterson's amazing vocal abilities carry the weight of an entire woodwind section, cooing like a flute, thrilling like a French horn, mining the sexy depths of emotion like a jazz saxophone. In fact, Patterson was named after the legendary jazz sax player Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and was raised in Harlem, New York, where music and the Pentecostal faith made their earliest impressions on him. But unlike other historically tortured soul singers, Rahsaan has made peace between his spiritual and secular sides.
"...Patterson exudes the definition of soul." — E!
"This musical iconoclast has fused fundamental soul with alternative funk for an eclectice twist on his signature sound. Patterson's most ambitious offering yet." — Jawn Murray, AOL Black Voices