The Rocks Off 200: Alisha Pattillo & Her Swaggering, Soulful Sax
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in The Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Alisha Pattillo is an Australian-born, Singapore-raised saxophone player who arrived in Houston six years ago. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Australia's Queensland Conservatorium of Music and has been nominated for two consecutive Houston Press Music Awards in the "Best Jazz" category. She currently fronts two bands, Alisha's Quartet and Soul Swagger, in addition to being a full-time member of the Ezra Charles Band and Pigs On the Wall, a Pink Floyd tribute band fronted by keyboardist Randy Wall.
Her main project, though, is Alisha's Quartet. The jazz-fusion combo released debut CD Along For the Ride in September 2012; live, they play a high-energy collection of jazz, rock and funk. She formed Soul Swagger, which does a variety of soul, funk, blues, and R&B in 2013. The band plays regularly on Monday nights at Shakespeare's Pub.
Home Base: "I get around," Pattillo says. "There've been a bunch of clubs and bars that contributed to my growth as a musician since I moved to Houston. A few key venues for me are Big Easy, Shakespeare's and Capone's. I treat every venue as an opportunity to meet new people and gain new fans."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "There are probably hipper places to live in the States, but Houston has a very active scene as well as many players that I find inspiring in this city," Pattillo offers. "Often I get a chance to work with them, so it's been a nurturing environment for me to grow in. There are some fantastic live-music venues in Houston, and the fact that neighboring cities like Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio are in driving distance is a plus."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "'Freebird'!! 'Mustang Sally'!!" says Pattillo, who may have taken one too many ill-advised requests. "Harmonica belts. I don't have too many pet peeves -- most things that bother me are situational."
Story continues on the next page.