In 2002 I was 28 and largely a helpless bystander in observing the degeneration of my body due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (an ongoing struggle). I wanted to raise awareness of and funds for EDS, and I wanted to document my playing with some of my heroes before it was too late. This album (for which ALL the proceeds go to the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation) was my answer. I had heard Ben Riley so many times that his rhythm felt like it was etched into my DNA, and Ron Carter was (and is) my favorite bassist in jazz history. The music is all inspired by my experiences with the condition, and it is not surprising that these legendary musicians rose to the occasion.
Noah Baerman | piano
Ron Carter | bass
Ben Riley | drums
Recorded September 12, 2002 at Systems Two, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Pianist Noah Baerman suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which affects the body’s connective tissue. The only reason this is relative to Baerman’s art is that he is consciously using Patch Kit (Lemel) to draw attention to the underrecognized disease, and all proceeds from the album’s sales will go to the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation.
Maybe the highest compliment that could be paid to this vibrant stylist is that his playing reveals not an iota of physical discomfort. Backed by the golden rhythm team of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Ben Riley, Baerman exhibits considerable technical ease and melodic aplomb in both his spirited improvisations and his original compositions. Broadminded in his tastes, Baerman takes full advantage of his supporting players, leading them through the charging bop of the “Ko Ko”-inspired “Carob Powder” and dueting with Carter on the free improv “Where’s Norm?” The album’s high point may be a nine-minute arrangement of “We Shall Overcome,” which kicks off with a remarkable Carter solo leading into a drama-filled Baerman statement that builds to a suitably stirring climax.”
“Fortunately, Baerman has the chops to more than hold his own with this estimable company. Much more than just a commendable exercise in education and humanitarianism, this is a wonderful and inspiring musical journey that’s a testament to the power of jazz, humor and positive energy to turn a challenging situation into one of joy and hope.”
– All About Jazz
“EDS primarily affects the 30-year-old Baerman in his joints, which are more prone to injury . . . but his trio partners on Patch Kit proved inspiring.”
“This one is quite good, . . . a disc of solid, imaginative, genially direct piano-trio jazz with plenty of heart. Pianist Noah Baerman has a most interesting style: the heavy touch of Brubeck (it’s easy to see in yr mind’s eye a close-up of the piano key going ‘down’ into the keyboard), some of the angularity of Monk, the humane earthiness of Horace Silver and the stylishness and technique of Kenny Barron ( whom Noah B studied under), and he plays in a very relaxed manner that is nonetheless active, engaging and harmonious. At times, his acoustic piano shimmers/decays with a tone that sounds like its emerging an electric piano. NB has got the big C – conciseness; there’s 10 tunes here, mostly originals, with no noodle, no doodle, no waxy yellow buildup. ”
“Baerman, backed by legendary bassist Ron Carter and the understated yet brilliant drummer Ben Riley, has crafted a recording that accomplishes many goals including two very important ones. First of all, the money raised from the sale of the recording goes to help fund research into Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, an as-of-yet incurable illness that causes a defect in the connective tissues of the body. Second, Patch Kit illustrates how a musician can make a positive and uplifting work of art out of events in his life.”
– Hartford Courant
1) Bye Bye Backhand
2) Yasa Fragitida
3) Everything Happens to Me
(L.H. Blues for Junior)
5) Patch Kit
6) Where’s Norm?
7) The Healer
8) Carob Powder
9) We Shall Overcome
10) I’m Beginning to
See the Light