Deval Patrick’s MisStart

Very nice segment on Saturday’s All Things Considered in which Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick talked about donating his father Pat’s musical archive to the Berklee College of Music.

Over the course of his career, Pat Patrick accompanied many jazz greats: John Coltrane,Thelonious MonkDuke Ellington. He was a career sideman.

His son, however, was born to lead.

Deval Patrick was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2006. Shortly after his inauguration, he came into possession of a vast archive of his late father’s work. Photographs, recordings, scores — a whole life in jazz packed into long-forgotten boxes.

Patrick donated that collection to Boston’s own Berklee College of Music, which this past week celebrated the opening of the Pat Patrick collection with a concert.

And NPR celebrated it with a Deval Patrick interview in which he recalled a really touching moment in his relationship with a largely absentee father:

Patrick saw his father play live many times, but he says one of the most memorable was on his 25th birthday.

“He was performing at a jazz club in Northeast Washington [D.C.] called Pigfoot, and he asked me to come by,” Patrick says. “I sat at a little table by myself, and he saw me come in. He said, ‘I want to dedicate this next number to my son, whose birthday is today.’ “

His father then played the jazz standard “I Can’t Get Started,” and according to Deval, it summed up their relationship perfectly.

“He played this incredibly soulful solo, and we just locked eyes through the whole thing,” he says. “That was the best and most meaningful bridge for the two of us in finding a place for each other.”

Not to get technical about it, but Deval then failed to sum up the song perfectly. His version of the first verse:

I’ve been around the world in a plane.

I’ve started revolutions in Spain.

And the North Pole I’ve charted,

Still I can’t get started with you.

Except it’s “I’ve settled revolutions in Spain.”

Any relevance to Patrick’s current reelection battle?

Discuss among yourselves.

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