Friday, September 4, 2009

The John Patitucci Trio

Here is an album review I just wrote for JazzTimes.
Remembrance is a lovely album, but I think that anyone listening to it would have to think she was listening to a Joe Lovano album. So much of the music is carried by Lavono's superb sax explorations, that it is sometimes easy to forget that the bass is there at all.
That is less true of the numbers where Patitucci plays electric bass and does jazz funk. These numbers demonstrate his virtuosity and they are very engaging, but they aren't really the better part of the album. The better part is the more traditional bopish swing. There is also the problem that one almost gets whiplash when a funky number like 'Messaien's Gumbo' is followed by the pensive 'Sonny Side.'
That aside, it's a very good album. The cover art is very appropriate, depicting a winter seen with bare trees and darkish water. This album is what I like to call page four jazz: melody has most been subordinated the free play of musical and emotional ideas. I think it's true that the album becomes more abstract as it goes along. But it is very crisply recorded, and every buzz of feeling comes through.
Patitucci is a first class leader, and an exquisite bass player. Lovano is a saxophone titan. Drummer Brian Blade is worth his weight in sonic gold as he has the job of keeping the whole thing together. It's tough to be the drummer.
The more I listen to this album, the better I like it. As my neck muscles beef up, the transition from funk to swing starts to feel like the kind of tension that keeps music alive. Remembrance is available from eMusic. Don't let it slip by you.


  1. I am on my way over to emusic to pick up the Patitucci album. And I will add my endorsement to the Lovano Us Five album as one of the finest releases of the year. I saw this group play at Newport and it was just a Killin' performance.

  2. Thanks, Ken. You'll enjoy it. Joe Lovano is one of the greatest assets of jazz right now. I am really glad I got to see him play.