We’re back and ready for an amazing year. In this new year, we are looking forward to sharing with you all the things The Manhattans are doing including giving you a backstage pass to shows such as, The 70s Soul Jam, interviews featuring guest artists and behind-the-scene articles with the people who make things happen.
We are blessed to not only see a new year, but also a new president and not just any president—our first African American president. That alone should make all of us want to do more and be more than we’ve ever been before. For the first time in a long time, we can dream and know that anything is possible. Not long ago, we began a series of interviews with various members of The Manhattans. This month we are pleased to be sitting down with one of the members of the Pazant Brothers, Edward “Ed” Pazant. Ed is the saxophonist for The Manhattans. He has a long history of playing music that began in the 60s with Pucho and The Latin Soul Brothers. That relationship has lasted over 40 years and he continues to tour with them today. Ed was the musical director for Lionel Hampton, and he also played with Melba Moore during the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Below is an excerpt of the conversation we shared…
Sharon: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.
Ed: It’s my pleasure.
Sharon: Give us a little history of the Pazant Brothers.
Ed: I was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina to Rosalie and Edward Pazant along with my brother and five sisters. Early in my career, my brother Al and I formed a group called, “The Pazant Brothers & The Beaufort Express.
Sharon: Did you record any music?
Ed: We recorded an album entitled, “Loose and Juicy.”
Sharon: I’m not touching that [laughter]. I read that most of your earlier recordings were recently issued.
Ed: That’s right.
Sharon: What are you currently working on?
Ed: Right now I’m mostly touring with Pucho and The Latin Soul Brothers.
Sharon: Where have you guys been playing?
Ed: We just got back from Spain recently, and we’ll be going to Paris soon.
Sharon: Wow, that’s exciting. What is it like to play in other countries?
Ed: I’ve done it so often that there really isn’t that much difference, and usually we’re only in a place for a couple of days at a time.
Sharon: That’s got to be rough. What do you do on your down time?
Ed: I love playing golf. I don’t get to play as much as I like, but whenever I get a chance I am out there.
Sharon: What is your favorite food?
Ed: Oxtails. I love oxtails, and lemon meringue pie.
Sharon: I know your wife, Patricia (Dee) recently passed away. The very first time I met her, we hit it off like we had been friends forever. She had an awesome spirit. Do you have any children?
Ed: Yes. I have two children. My son, Devry, is a branch manager at Commerce Bank, and my daughter, Dawna, is a teacher. I also have two grandchildren, Kyra and Chloe.
Sharon: Have you always been a musician?
Ed: Yes. I have been blessed to make a living doing what I love to do.
Sharon: That is a blessing. Are you working on any future projects?
Ed: Not at this time. Right now, I’m just playing with The Manhattans whenever I can. I travel mostly out of the country with Pucho and The Latin Soul Brothers.
Sharon: What advice would you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Ed: Practice hard and stay focused. Learn as much as you can about the business. My brother and I are also musical consultants for middle schools in East Orange, New Jersey. We help teach students how to play and read music.
Sharon: Who was your inspiration?
Ed: My grandfather, William. He could play any instrument. I thought he was awesome.
Sharon: Finish this sentence, “I am described as…”
Ed: A well-rounded musician.
And that he is. Spending time with Ed has been one of the highlights of this new year. He is just another reason why I love working with this group. Ed had the quiet assurance of a man who has lived his life doing what he set out to do. He knew exactly what he wanted and he worked hard to obtain it. He is the example of what it’s like to live a dream.
We thank you Ed for sharing your gift with us.
This site was last updated 01/30/09