Here are just a few of the reviews published for Mystic Nights:
Joe Ross (Originally published on CD Baby)
Otherworldly soundscape of sensitive splendor, beautiful colors, & delicate text
Track Listing: Scottish Heather; Summer Sunset; Gin and Tonic; Something Lurking; Newsreel; Undertow; When Creatures Reigned; The Miller’s Tale; Magical Morning; Life Stories; Reflections; Cross Current; Mystic Nights.
Personnel: Patrick Battstone: piano; Richard Poole: vibes.
Record Label: Self Produced
From Kari-on press kit: Dreamy ambiences, sparkling tones, and balmy riffs coagulate in the compositions by pianist Patrick Battstone and vibraphonist Richard Poole on their new CD, Mystic Nights. Otherworldly numbers like “Gin and Tonic” and “Undertow” resonate like glittering wind chimes while the fluid embers of “Something Lurking” are embalmed in dulcet wisps. The avant garde-slant in the trickling keys along “Newsreel” ripple with an organic agility, and the balmy banter of the vibes and piano keys ringing along “When Creatures Reigned” convey a placid mood.
~Susan Frances, Yahoo! – Full Review…Click Here
Mystic Nights is a welcomed addition to any precocious avant-garde or improvisational jazz collection. Who says jazz is not rocket science? Not to Patrick Battstone, who by day is a rocket scientist for Draper Labs, joined by his collaborator Richard Poole, the two embark on an expedition beyond the stars. The nature of a duo is an exposed setting that creates a canvas of conversation and exploration. So when you take two percussive instruments like vibes and piano, and blend them into a sonic message, the end result is the brainchild of pianist Patrick Battstone and vibraphonist Richard Poole, entitled Mystic Nights.
~Geannine Reid, Jazz Times … click here for full review
Mystic Nights effectively combines the subtle side of the piano with the dreamy side of the vibraphone. Pat Battstone (piano) and Richard Poole (vibes) write and record very reserved music that is a definite mood setter. This beautifully-crafted album features very delicate piano and vibraphone recordings with no additional ingredients added because they are unnecessary. So instead of bombarding listeners with the usual overproduced twenty-first century clutter, these guys leave plenty of wide open space in their music…cool dreamy open space that allows the listener to focus on the peculiar nuances of the instruments at hand. This thirteen track album clocks in at well over an hour and it’s quite a soothing and cerebral spin. Calming serene compositions include “Scottish Heather,” “Newsreel,” “Magical Morning,” and “Mystic Nights.” Ahhh…this one sounds so nice…
~Don Seven, LMNOP Magazine
MYSTIC NIGHTS is a piano and vibes pairing of a much cooler temperature. Ray Battstone and Richard Poole may not be well known but they get a crystalline beauty out of this instrumental combination the equal of any of the famous piano-vibes pairings that come to mind like Chick Corea and Gary Burton. There is a lot of abstraction in Battstone’s piano work with gamelan-like hammering and inside strumming and thumping but his playing also contains a melodic beauty reminiscent of Paul Bley. Combining that with Poole’s ghostly, resonant vibes work, the end result is a lovely set of music that balances space, atmosphere and melody extremely well.
~Jerome Wilson, Cadence Magazine
Their improvised duets flow freely from tonal, rhythmic-based excursions to dense, darkened clusters. The emphatic rapport evident throughout their latest disc, Mystic Nights, makes it difficult for a listener to turn away. These thirteen short stories work well as a comprehensive suite, yet stand well enough alone as individual bursts of creativity, each with a defining mood. The hurriedness of “Newsreel” and “When Creatures Reigned,” bouncy nature of “Gin and Tonic” and meditative trance of “Magical Morning” are a few noticeable examples. The stark title track, named for the Mystic River, which is adjacent to the duo’s recording studio, closes the disc with an unsettled intensity, perhaps signaling more to come.
~John Barron, The Jazz Word – Full Review…Click Here
This unique set of 13 improvised pieces creates an intensely meditative and mystical ambience filled with satisfyingly thought-provoking ideas. Mystic Nights can be enjoyed casually, but requires a careful and intent listening to be fully appreciated.
~Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz – Full Review…Click Here
Both jazz musicians display an affinity for the avant-garde, and they’re carving personalized identities as an amalgamation of their personal influences. For pianist Pat Battstone, we hear a personality that seems to incorporate styles of Marilyn Crispell, Keith Jarrett, Bobo Stenson, Charlie Banacos and Bill Evans. As far as vibraphonists go, I hear elements of Teddy Charles and Gary Burton (whose “Dreams So Real” album might have been inspirational). Battstone doesn’t just play the piano’s keys. He may pluck the strings to produce overtones, or he may employ hammers directly to the strings. Richard Poole also has a long resume with many years as a professional musician. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition from Florida International University. Performance, production, a piano business and teaching have been his main focus over the years. He’s helped many develop their own voice in music. Now, the two of them together are continuing to cultivate their own musical manifestations. Their kaleidoscope of magical sound is best described as an otherworldly soundscape of sensitive splendor, beautiful colors, and delicate textures.
~Joe Ross, Roots Music Report – Full Review…Click Here
Opening the jewel case, one sees Patt Battstone (piano) and Richard Poole(vibraphone( playing at what seems like an intimate live performance, but even that wasn’t enough to provide any hints. Never judge a book by its cover, even if the book provides little to nothing. I had to go in. Mystic Nights (self-released) could have been nothing more than a simple piano and vibraphone album, perhaps sounding cool and reserved, at least that’s what I expected when I saw their photo. But this studio album is anything but reserved.
~John Book, This is Books Music – Full Review…Click Here
A piano/vibes face off that showcases minimalist jazz with arts council overtones. Loaded with an experimental edge that makes this sitting down jazz for hipsters.
~ Chris Spector, MIDWEST RECORD Volume 35/Number 52
This is an adventurous encounter that features pianist Pat Battstone with Richard Poole playing vibes. The duo wrote all thirteen tracks building on their first release, Open Door. Mystic Nights is more of a relaxed call and response session capturing a peaceful dialogue between the two musicians. It is an introspective set that invites the listener into their world.
~D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz Magazine
For those who enjoy the outer reaches of Jazz and improvisational music then they should check out these musicians and their album. Yes, it is outside music’s normal comfort zone, and it is pushing away at the borders of what we accept as music, but they said that about Beethoven too.
~John Peters, The Borderland – Full Review…Click Here
Pat Battstone and Richard Poole: Mystic Nights (2011, Bat’s Tones Music): More commonly Patrick Battstone, pianist, b. 1954, studied with Joanne Brackeen, day job as a rocket scientist at Draper Labs. Second album with vibraphonist Poole; Just the two of them, piano/vibes. Does a nice job of hitting its intended mark. B+(4.5 out of 5 stars).
~Tom Hull, Jazz Prospecting
Pat Battstone and Richard Poole: Mystic Nights (2011, Bat’s Tones Music): More commonly Patrick Battstone, pianist, b. 1954, studied with Joanne Brackeen, day job as a rocket scientist at Draper Labs. Second album with vibraphonist Poole; can’t find much else they’ve done. Just the two of them, piano/vibes. Does a nice job of hitting its intended mark. B+ (4.5 out of 5 stars)
~Tom Hull, Jazz Prosepcting
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Pianist Pat Battstone and vibraphonist Richard Poole’s album Mystic Nights is full of tracks that are instrumental fused with a dark and classical sounds that showcase the talents of these two artists.
The mixture of these unique tracks can easily put your mind at ease with the soothing meditative sound to scaring you with the deep piano riff.
Battstone and Poole are no strangers to the world of jazz and have combined their knowledge and talent to form an album that has a consistent flow.
The album starts of with the song “Scottish Heather” that is has a slow start and introduces a sweet melody. This song gives you an insight to their capability of playing their instruments. There is no definite rhythm introduced since it was just a mixture of sounds.
In the single “Summer Sunset” there is a better collaboration of the duo. The track is relaxing and slow tempo brigs you a euphoric and peaceful mindset.
It shifts to a darker sound in the songs “When Creatures Resigned” and “Mystic Nights” which has a spine chilling sound that can easily incorporated in a horror film.
Overall the tracks were easy to listen to but after a while it seemed like each song blurred together and it was hard to get through the album.
With a somewhat ho-hum album cover, I wasn’t sure what I would get when I played this. Opening the jewel case, one sees Patt Battstone (piano) and Richard Poole (vibraphone( playing at what seems like an intimate live performance, but even that wasn’t enough to provide any hints. Never judge a book by its cover, even if the book provides little to nothing. I had to go in.
Mystic Nights (self-released) could have been nothing more than a simple piano and vibraphone album, perhaps sounding cool and reserved, at least that’s what I expected when I saw their photo. But this studio album is anything but reserved. The opening track, “Scottish Heather”, has them coming into the scope, slowly playing and welcoming you to their instruments and their world, almost like the unveiling of a gallery. It’s not free form, but there’s no solid rhythm that defines this. “Summer Sunset” suggests relaxation, but some of the tones they create together are more about the heat and the blur of the bright sun than anything that brings calm. “Newsreel” may bring to mind the old ways of taking in the news, and maybe it’s a not-so-subtle way to describe the musicians themselves, looking at our modern, non-stop blitzkreig way of taking in the news of the day. “When Creatures Reigned” kind of sounds like what one might dream up in our youth as a way to describe the fears we used to read in books, but now it sounds playful, and if there was a way to go back to those days, we all would.
Some of the songs are straightforward, while others are a bit more adventurous, especially when Battstone goes into the piano and plucks the strings with his hands. Poole will then play on top of that but sometimes play them solely as a percussion instrument, with no sense of keys or melodies. If the music on Mystic Nights are meant to represent something, I’d like to know what it is, but music is there for the imagination to play with. Personally, I want to play within them again.