Thursday, February 4, 2010

John Patitucci Trio: Remembrance

Concord Records
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 2.4.10
Buy CD: Remembrance

True musicians don't treat their “jobs” the same way most other folks do; when not playing for their primary gigs, they visit clubs to listen to other artists, sometimes sitting in during a set. Musicians also practice constantly: sometimes alone, but often with peers.

These spontaneous jam sessions seldom get recorded, but technological advances have made it possible for almost everyone to have a “studio” at home. As a result, more and more of these sessions are released as do-it-yourself CDs. That's the case with this album.

Some time ago, bassist John Patitucci, tenor sax star Joe Lovano and drummer Brian Blades were rehearsing for another album. Because the pianist didn't show up, they went ahead as a trio. They liked what transpired so much that, months later, they decided to make this album.

Its title relates to both that practice session, and the fact that most of the tunes are tributes to other artists who no longer are with us.

A “piano-less” trio is rare; the fact that a bass/tenor/drums configuration turned out so beautifully is due to the excellence of the musicians involved. Patitucci is one of the few bassists who can make his “horns” — he plays acoustic and electric instruments — much more than just rhythm-keepers; he plays complex melodic lines and solos that are awesome.

Lovano, who became famous with Woody Herman's Herds, is one of the most “warm” and exciting reed players today. Blades is more than a drummer; he's an exquisite musician.

Although this trio is the core unit, Patitucci's wife, Sachi, adds a cello on one track; an additional percussionist, Rogerio Boccato, contributes to four other tracks.

The result is a musical tour de force.

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