John Patitucci: Songs, Stories & Spirituals (2003)
A melody should be pretty. It should be carried out with simple charm. And yet, the artists have a need to express with individuality. Patitucci accomplishes this through heartfelt interpretation. The selection of songs for this album ensures that the artists can feel what they’re doing. Each somber tale provides room for individual expression. Both vocalists shine brightly. They appear together for Gustav Holst’s “In the Bleak Midwinter,” which captures the essence of that time of the year when trees have no flowers or leaves, and the ground is barren.
Patitucci and Brian Blade perform John Coltrane’s “Wise One” as a duo. The double bassist’s melodic charm is irresistible. As a solo voice, his bass has few peers.
The leader and his team have pieced together a quiet, mainstream program that leans woefully on the sad side. “Rhapsodic Journey,” for example, takes you on a tour of tired legs and aching feet that are forced to work under duress. All that’s missing is the bullwhip.
Interpreting art can be a challenge. The important part is honesty. At that, Patitucci’s album excels, since he’s decided to portray this latest album with heavyhearted melancholy. The genuine tales he has to tell here contain just that.
Track Listing: Tall Tale; Chovendo Na Roseira; I Will Arise; Lei; In the Bleak Midwinter; Three Faces; Now the River; Soulmate; Rhapsodic Journey; It Never Entered My Mind; Love Eternal; Wise One.
Personnel: John Patitucci: acoustic bass, 6-string electric bass; Brian Blade: drums, percussion; Ed Simon: piano; Luciana Souza; vocals; John Thomas: vocals; Elizabeth Lim-Dutton: violin; Richard Rood: violin; Lawrence Dutton: viola; Sachi Patitucci: cello; Tim Ries" flute, alto flute; Tom Patitucci: nylon string guitar.
Record Label: Concord Music Group