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John Patitucci: Now

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Because John Patitucci's last CD (One More Angel) was such a maudlin snooze-fest, I approached Now with a certain amount of trepidation. My fears where unfounded. Now possesses everything One More Angel lacked----high energy, a variety of moods and tons of hot licks. The musical sparks come courtesy of jazz's most exciting guitarist, John Scofield, the bullwhip snap of Bill Stewart's drums and the scorching tenors of Michael Brecker and Chris Potter. Although bassist Patitucci, who spent ten years with Chick Corea, contributed eight of the ten compositions, it's the band that makes this one really sing. Patitucci, Porter and a funky Scofield mix it up on the rollicking title cut then settle into a mellow groove on the lovely waltz, "Grace". Patitucci and Stewart displays fierce technique on a duo workout of Coltrane's classic "Giant Steps". Now is sharp, focused and (with a little help from his friends) Patitucci's best effort to date. 4-4 stars

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