A Higher Desire Pat Appleton
- 1New World Brave03:40
- 2A Dangerous Thing04:13
- 4Everyday Love04:14
- 6Peach Blossom04:44
- 7A Higher Desire05:16
- 9Other People's Lives04:47
- 10The Blame Game03:36
- 11So Large (Bonustrack)03:52
Info for A Higher Desire
Pat Appleton is the voice of De-Phazz - a band that became the epitome of the German lounge jazz movement. Until today Pat Appleton has collaborated on nine De-Phazz albums and has toured the world with De-Phazz on a regular basis. The television station 3Sat describes Pat Appleton as »one of the mostsignificant voices in German contemporary jazz« and currently Pat Appleton is working on her third solo album with an intense focus on jazz. With her new quintet she has developed a programme that tailors new and existing songs to suit the acoustic jazz mood to create wonderfully transparent jazz tunes with depth and class.
„A Higher Desire“ is Pat Appleton new album. The album was recorded at RecPublica Studio in Lubrza, Poland by Michal Vasyl and was mixed by Emanuel Hauptmann, MPM Studio, Berlin, Germany. Mastering by Norman Nitzsche, Calyx Mastering, Berlin, Germany.
Pat Appleton, vocals
Martin Auer, trumpet
Sebastian Weiss, piano
Olaf Casimir, double bass
Michael Kersting, drums
Does one begin with the corpses or perhaps rather with the poodles? Well then: First the dogs. Next to Pat Appleton’s front door on the fourth floor of a fin de siècle building in Kreuzberg, a picture of rare abomination decorates the wall. It depicts a horde of poodles with carefully coiffed hair. Some tasteless person must have put this horror of a puzzle together in meticulous labor to start with and then glued it onto a piece of cardboard and finally fixed to the wall of the staircase. »It’s good!« finds Pat Appleton, who has taken over the poodle-puzzle from the previous tenant without complaining. »So nobody would suspect a pop star lived here, would they?«
The reference to the pop star is probably once again pure irony. Pat Appleton is pretty good at that, to say and sing things with her pleasant contralto voice, which one should not take too seriously. That has also made her well known internationally, as the female lead singer of the Heidelberg Bossa-Jazz-Soul-Group De-Phazz. During 1999 the group had its break in Germany and central Europe with a song called »Mambo Craze«, which Pat Appleton and the founder of De-Phazz, Pit Baumgartner had thought up between them. Indeed, it is cool, mundane and laid back, and is presented in retro style still somehow also with a sarcastic smirk. The song did well in the clubs, the new lounges of the economic miracle, the boutiques and finally in TV advertising: the covert summer hit for the turn of the millennium. »It still makes me money today.« smiles Pat Appleton, »There is always some company warming up the Mambo for some boil in the bag soup.«
Well a pop star doesn’t actually talk like that. Even if, looked at objectively, Pat Appleton is one. She has big fan groups in France, Canada, Russia and the Baltic countries. In Kiev there were even bodyguards and closed motorways upon arrival. More than 100.000 units were sold worldwide of the last CD called Death by Chocolate. And even in Germany, where prophets of the twisted muse very often are not appreciated, people with ragtops, experienced in cocktail bars, with subscriptions to women’s‚ magazines and a taste for dance music know, what they have with De-Phazz: stylish Kitsch deluxe for all occasions. (…) Taking all this together, one has to say: Such a poodle puzzle is the very least that fans of De-Phazz should not put past their always-cheerful leading lady.
Or so one thinks in any case when sitting down on the comfortable red sofa, which Pat Appleton and her boyfriend have placed as the only item of color in the spacious living room and kitchen of their new apartment. Two rented DVDs lie on the coffee table, overdue to be returned by several days. »They are bound to expel us from the video rental store« mocks the singer, who has been living in Berlin for three years, but physically only one and a half years, because she travels so much. At present predominantly because of her first solo CD, which she is recording with people from the most diverse corners of Europe.
There is no need to break the ice. She is nice, Pat, and extremely unpretentious. She leads me through the rooms, which are still in chaos, because the renovation is progressing at snail’s pace. She brews Espresso and serves strawberry cake from the bio-bakers. She laughs a lot, even in response to bad journalists‚ jokes and talks freely. She talks about the fact that she was born in Aachen as the daughter of a German mother and an architect from Liberia. About the fact that she moved to the home country of her father at the age of six, where she was woken by the nuns in the missionary school practically every day by being hit on her head with a bible. Later she was very happy when she was permitted to attend the American High School. Even about her 12th birthday, which was rather strange, because the Liberian State President was murdered precisely on that day and the Military took over power. As a result her celebration was cancelled as a general curfew was imposed.
Or about the bodies, which one could see quite often, murdered on the streets or drifted onto the beach, where her mother had just planned a barbecue party, one of the sort, which the fizzy music of De-Phazz would certainly have been very suitable for. Mummy, the purebred girl from the Rhine, did not allow this to spoil her mood and celebrated all the same, a few hundred yards from the corpse. The daughter caught on and also repressed it quickly, until she recently strolled along the Friedrichstraße in Berlin, a long way from Liberia. There was a poster regarding an exhibition with the horrific, well-known photograph of the tsunami disaster. »All that: This marvelous beach and that bloated corpse. That did remind me of Liberia.« Pat Appleton admits. And her laughter, normally somewhat earthy, has suddenly acquired an undertone of insecurity.
But one does ask such stupid questions. Whether she had seen the movie »Hotel Rwanda«, which depicts some of what she had experienced first hand. »Nope.« says the singer; »I did not feel the need, as I had seen all of that in reality. I really do not need that again in the cinema, all the corpses in the streets. In reality they look different anyway. A more pronounced contrast to the escapism swing, which Pat Appleton cultivates with De-Phazz, in truth is unthinkable. »People often criticize us that we always sound a little too casual and uncontroversial, that is to say just trivial music.« suggests the singer, »Personally I don’t find that bad, if people mundanely sip their drink to De-Phazz music and think that the voice in the background would purr something nice.« Because there is enough misery in this world, and since the words and record titles of the group have considerable hidden meanings between the lines.
Just to quote an example: the successful recording »Death by Chocolate« derives its name from the most cynical desert, which Pat Appleton has ever eaten. That was in Nairobi, in a hotel into which the family had fled, because there was unrest in the streets, with drawn machine guns, burning cars and other such things. »We sat in the restaurant of the hotel, eating a four-course meal, whilst people outside were killing each other. And at the end the waiter in his livery appeared, asking whether we wished to have a desert. And of all things there was ›Death by Chocolate‹ gateau on the menu.« Do the listeners of the CD also like that? If her father had had his way, Pat Appleton would in any case not have ended up in the field of music. She would more likely have become president of Liberia. Prior to the coup her father had after all been Director General of the housing authority of the West African republic.
And yes, when Pat was 18 years old, she returned to Germany and »good girl that she was« enrolled at the University of Heidelberg for Political Science. At the same time however she sang in a party-band, »Everything from Whitney Houston to Zarah Leander«, one could earn good money with that. And anyhow this had always been her secret dream concerning a profession. To become a singer, ever since she had seen the ZDF hit parade at the age of three and later succumbed completely to Herbert Grönemeyer’s »Bochum« staccato in her own room in Liberia as a child. During the supporting vocal work for children‚s‚ cassettes, which were being produced for a Swedish furniture group, she met the sampling specialist and producer Pit Baumgartner. The rest is De-Phazz history. And Pat Appleton became an international advertisement for the new German easiness. And that takes some learning. In Portugal they took us aside and told us it was about time to stop being embarrassed of being German. It wasn’t all that bad!« The southern western German dialect from Heidelberg is still just noticeable, when the singer from her chosen Berlin home says such things. And it becomes really weird, when she starts imagining what she might do when she is an old lady. »Perhaps I will still become a politician, what with spectacles and a wizened face. Then I would love to ban cars from the city as far as possible. I am just thinking: One really should do something. Everybody sits around, complains and does nothing. It is time for a revolution!« The naked little Kitsch porcelain doll behind the singer looks astonished. Pat Appleton, the ironic forerunner of the passionless generation '89 would like to mount the barricades. One would never have thought that this could be the gist of the matter. (Josef Engels)
This album contains no booklet.