John Patitucci Trio: Remembrance (2009)
variously suggests all four players, with more than a little Pharoah Sanders thrown in, without ever being merely literalist. He states most of the themes, his tone and phrasing taking on the hue of each tributee, and takes most of the solos, where he follows his own, expansive and lyrical line. Brian Blade, a balletically nimble drummer whose nuanced touch goes back to Max Roach rather than Kenny Clarke or Art Blakey, completes the core trio, soloing infrequently in the conventional sense but in constant invigorating dialog with the saxophone and bass.
If you're going to record an album dedicated in part to Coltrane, Rollins, Henderson and Brecker, you're going to need a five-star, tradition-literate tenor saxophonist, and Patitucci has one. Joe Lovano
Patitucci's wife, cellist Sachi Patitucci, guests on "Scenes From An Opera," on which Lovano plays bass clarinet, and percussionist Rogerio Boccato helps raise the funk on "Mali," dedicated to desert bluesman Farka Toure.
than it does with classical composer Olivier Messaien. The third track, "Sonny's Side," is a lighthearted mid-tempo ballad in which Rollins the calypsonian hovers on the edge of the stage.
Patitucci's tunes and arrangements take in straight-ahead, new thing, funk and post-modern third stream and he variously plays acoustic bass, six-string electric bass and six-string electric piccolo bass. The opening "Monk/Trane" is based on the chords of Coltrane's early benchmark, "Giant Steps," and Lovano's exuberant, harmonics and broken-notes strewn solo blows away any funereal thoughts the packaging may have induced. Patitucci switches from acoustic to six-string electric bass for "Messaien's Gumbo," a piece of tumescent, ostinato-driven funk which has more to do with The Meters
. There isn't a single dud along the way, but justice demands that the gritty "Mali," on which Lovano's fractured timbres evoke Pharoah Sanders' Africanized masterpiece Tauhid (Impulse!, 1967), gets special mention.
And so the rainbow of ambiances and references continues for another seven engaging tracks. The album ends with the unaccompanied, layered electric basses title track, a hauntingly beautiful little treasure on which the piccolo bass takes on the character of a 12-string guitar, and which evokes Blade's work with hi-tech guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel
Track Listing: Monk/Trane; Messaien's Gumbo; Sonny Side; Meditations; Mali; Scenes From An Opera; Blues For Freddie; Safari; Joe Hen; Play Ball; Remembrance.
Personnel: Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; John Patitucci: double-bass, six-string electric bass, six-string electric piccolo bass; Brian Blade: drums; Sachi Patitucci: cello (6); Rogerio Boccato: percussion (5).
Record Label: Concord Music Group
Style: Modern Jazz