John Patitucci Trio: Remembrance (2009)

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John Patitucci Trio: Remembrance
Grammy-winning bassist John Patitucci's trio recording Remembrance, a heartfelt ode to his heroes and mentors, is the realization of a longstanding dream. Featuring saxophonist Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
b.1952
saxophone
and drummer Brian Blade
Brian Blade
Brian Blade
b.1970
drums
, this stripped-down trio originally recorded as a quartet with pianist Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
b.1970
piano
on Patitucci's Communion (Concord, 2001). The seeds for this date were sown when an unplanned piano-less rehearsal for the Communion sessions revealed the trio's affinity.

Containing all original tunes, Remembrance is Patitucci's seventh recording for Concord and his thirteenth as a leader. Conveying the affable mood of a relaxed blowing session, the trio expounds on a wide variety of styles and genres. Lovano's breathy cadences, Patitucci's percolating phrases and Blade's crisp rhythms conspire in an intimate, three-way conversation that veers from elegiac to ebullient.

An in-demand session player, Patitucci has performed with heavyweights like Michael Brecker

Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
1949 - 2007
sax, tenor
, Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
, Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
b.1942
drums
, Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
and Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
. A quicksilver virtuoso on both acoustic and electric bass, Patitucci's effusive statements command considerable attention in this spare setting, yet eschew unnecessary pyrotechnics in favor of a conversational demeanor that allows ample space for his sidemen.

Blade and Patitucci's deep-seated rapport can be traced to their membership in Wayne Shorter's longstanding quartet. A tasteful, unobtrusive percussionist, Blade's nuanced accents and complementary interpolations unify the trio's cogent interplay. Lovano's celebrated inside-outside approach combines harmonic sophistication with a subtle, expressive technique, augmenting Patitucci's melodious themes with adventurous lyricism.

Many of the tunes are dedicated to jazz royalty, including Ray Brown

Ray Brown
Ray Brown
1926 - 2002
bass, acoustic
, John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Joe Henderson
Joe Henderson
Joe Henderson
1937 - 2001
sax, tenor
, Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
1938 - 2008
trumpet
, Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
and Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
. Though most of the honorees have passed on, the prevailing mood is celebratory and full of lyrical invention, ranging from luminous ballads ("Sonny Side," "Play Ball") and vibrant swingers ("Blues for Freddie," "Joe Hen") to labyrinthine excursions ("Monk/Trane," "Meditations").

Adopting a funkier approach, "Mali" invokes the uplifting rhythms and pungent timbres of Ali Farka Toure

Ali Farka Toure
Ali Farka Toure
1939 - 2006
guitar
, recalling the Malian guitarist's cross-over album Talking Timbuktu (Ryko, 1994), which featured Patitucci. The trio explores similar territory on the throbbing, polyphonic funk of "Messaien's Gumbo," and modal impressionism on the evocative tone poems "Meditations" and "Safari."

Demonstrating remarkable dynamic range, "Scenes from an Opera," features a neo-classical arrangement of serpentine alto clarinet, rubato percussion and an octet of overdubbed contrabass and cello—an uncharacteristic, but intriguing piece. The bittersweet title track is equally austere; Patitucci's overdubbed solo electric bass meditation for the late Michael Brecker closes the album on an introspective note.

Mindful of the past, but not beholden by it, Remembrance is a sterling trio record, bolstered by the exceptional group interplay of three contemporary masters.

Track Listing: Monk/Trane; Messaien's Gumbo; Sonny Side; Meditations; Mali; Scenes from an Opera; Blues for Freddie; Safari; Joe Hen; Play Ball; Remembrance (for Michael Brecker).

Personnel: John Patitucci: acoustic bass, 6-string electric bass, 6-string electric piccolo bass; Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone, alto clarinet; Brian Blade: drums; Rogerio Boccato: percussion (2, 4, 5, 8); Sachi Patitucci: cello (6).

Record Label: Concord Music Group

Style: Modern Jazz


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