John Patitucci Trio: Remembrance (2009)

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John Patitucci Trio: Remembrance
It's true what they say: you can't judge an album by looking at the cover. Contrary to the mood suggested by the title and the monochrome sleeve shot of an autumnal city park, bassist John Patitucci's Remembrance is a warm and perky affair. The album is Patitucci's salute to some departed heroes—saxophonists John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Joe Henderson
Joe Henderson
Joe Henderson
1937 - 2001
sax, tenor
and Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
1949 - 2007
sax, tenor
, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
1938 - 2008
trumpet
, bassist Ray Brown
Ray Brown
Ray Brown
1926 - 2002
bass, acoustic
and guitarist Ali Farka Toure
Ali Farka Toure
Ali Farka Toure
1939 - 2006
guitar
—along with a live one, saxophonist Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
. There are poignant moments, notably the closing track, "Remembrance," dedicated to Brecker. But the prevailing mood is upbeat.



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

Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
b.1952
saxophone
variously suggests all four players, with more than a little Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah Sanders
b.1940
saxophone
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
Brian Blade
Brian Blade
b.1970
drums
, a balletically nimble drummer whose nuanced touch goes back to Max Roach
Max Roach
Max Roach
1925 - 2007
drums
rather than Kenny Clarke
Kenny Clarke
Kenny Clarke
1914 - 1985
drums
or Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
, completes the core trio, soloing infrequently in the conventional sense but in constant invigorating dialog with the saxophone and bass.



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.



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

The Meters
The Meters

band/orchestra
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.



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

Wolfgang Muthspiel
Wolfgang Muthspiel
b.1965
guitar
. 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.

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


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