John Patitucci: Remembrance (2009)
The bassist of choice through the years for Chick Corea, Roy Haynes, Wayne Shorter and many other jazz giants, John Patitucci is noted for his daunting technique on both acoustic and electric basses. Remembrance is a stripped-down effort with Joe Lovano on tenor and alto clarinet and Brian Blade, his longtime partner in Shorter's group, on drums. The trio plays at a supremely high level, Lovano soloing with his usual command and expressiveness and Blade providing subtlety and strength.
Most of the 11 original tunes pay homage to a host of jazz icons. "Blues for Freddie," for example, is a tribute to the recently departed trumpet titan Freddie Hubbard, "Joe Hen" evokes the inside/outside legacy of tenor sax great Joe Henderson and "Sonny Side" celebrates the indefatigable Sonny Rollins. The title tune, meanwhile, is a short, heartfelt solo piece in memory of the late Michael Brecker, highlighting Patitucci's mastery of the electric six-string and piccolo basses. Patitucci also shows off the subtler, emotional side of the electric bass on the Coltrane-esque "Meditations". On two other tunes, "Safari" and "Mali," Patitucci shows he can throw down a heavy funk groove whether he's playing acoustic or electric. The only track that doesn't work is "Scenes from an Opera," mostly for the incongruous injection of a cello quartet into the otherwise spare arrangements.
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; Sachi Patitucci: cello.
Record Label: Concord Records
Style: Modern Jazz