This week I had the immense pleasure of talking with John Patitucci, from his New York home. The main topic of conversation was the new Album from the John Patitucci Trio album – “Remembrance” – on Concord Jazz, his sixth album for the label. This is a series of posts, covering the album itself, and discussions with John around the art of playing bass.
The album, released on the 4th August, is a stunning piece of work, featuring John on upright and electric bass, with Joe Lovano on tenor and alto clarinet and Brian Blade on drums. There are eleven tracks that pay tribute to jazz icons including Ray Brown, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Sony Rollins, and a host of others.
In some ways, the album was an ‘accident’ – it was the result of a rehersal at Joe Lovano’s house, during the recording of “Communion”, where the three ended up playing as a trio. John was taken with the openness of the set up, and the rapport between the players. The rest, as they say, is history.
John Patitucci first came to my attention in an interview written after he moved over to New York, after many years on the West Coast. That was significantly more than a decade ago, but by then he had already been voted Best Jazz Bassist in Guitar Player Magazine and Best Jazz Bassist in Bass Player Magazine, and had album credits that included B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Was Not Was, Dave Grusin, Natalie Cole, Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah, Sting, and Carly Simon. It doesn’t need me to tell you that he is a seriously accomplished bassist.
In this, his 13th album as a band leader, John Patitucci uses the stripped-down, piano-less jazz trio format to great effect. This is may be on the outer end of the jazz spectrum for some readers here, so a word to you non-jazz folks: on first listen, this album might not be to your taste, but let me say, it will definitely grow on you, and you’ll want to consider it for your album collection to stretch your perspective on playing!
Have a listen to Messaien’s Gumbo (Mac users can listen to the track on John’s MySpace page). It is one of my personal favourites from the album – although there is another track that really caught me, which I’ll talk about in the next post. Back to Messaien’s Gumbo. Listen to that playing. That’s all I’m going to say, for now!…
To Be Continued in Part II…