How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Can it be that John Patitucci has recorded only nine of his own CD's? The consummate sideman and first-call bassist for many recording sessions, it just seems that he has recorded more of his own.
But a listen to all of his CD's along the way give evidence to a not only a musician who not seems to have been born with technique that many other bassists can only aspire to, but also a musician who grows, absorbs numerous influences along the way, interprets major life events into musical expression and creates a personalized synthesis that becomes recognizable as it constantly evolves.
In "Imprint," Patitucci presents the capstone of his recording activities and not so coincidentally delivers his best album yet.
There are reasons for that.
While some musicians refrain from the public eye and give clues to their lives and personalities only through music, Patitucci openly acknowledges the devastating effects of some of life's challenges and uses them as a basis for his tunes for cathartic effect. Instead of continuing to mourn loss, Patitucci chooses to celebrate life.
As a result, he wrote a heart-felt tune in honor of his mother, "Joan," who died last year. Chris Potter achingly interprets it in the upper range of the tenor sax and in the process creates a gem that may inspire other musicians to record it as well. "Japanese Folk Song," which Patitucci's wife sings to his daughter, recognizes the beauty of the tune's melodic beauty as he performs in duo with pianist Beasley.
In contrast to the personalized familial tributes, Patitucci refers to his interests in Latin music to create a music of celebration. Perez and Hernandez establish the infectious feel of Patitucci's compositions, which involves incessant percussive beat, but also suspension of melody, pauses and sustain of tones. Quite a contrast to the Patitucci of the 1980's.
"Imprint" allows the listener to realize the complexity of Patitucci's music and personality and to realize that he has come a long way in a short amount of time...and has even greater growth to achieve in the future.
King Kong, Postcard, Little Steps, Joan, Maroon Bells, Imprint, The Well, Essay, Japanese Folk Song, Afro-Blue
John Patitucci, acoustic bass, 6-string electric bass, percussion, kalimba; Chris Potter, tenor & soprano sax; Mark Turner, tenor sax; John Beasley, Danilo Perez, piano; Jack DeJohnette, drums; Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, drums, percussion; Giovanni Hidalgo, congas, percussion; Sachi Patitucci, kalimba