JazzTimes - 8/03, p.137
"...An album of subtle surprise and variegated approach..."
Personnel: John Patitucci (acoustic & electric basses); John Thomas, Luciana Souza (vocals); Tim Ries (flute, alto flute); Elizabeth Lim-Dutton, Richard Rood (violin); Lawrence Dutton (viola); Sachi Patitucci (cello); Ed Simon (piano); Tom Patitucci (nylon string guitar); Brain Blade (drums, percussion).
Recorded in May 2002. Includes liner notes by John Patitucci.
"In The Bleak Midwinter" was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.
Personnel: John Patitucci (acoustic bass, 6-string bass); John Charles Thomas, Luciana Souza (vocals); Thomas Patitucci (nylon-string guitar); Elizabeth Lim Dutton, Richard Rood (violin); Lawrence Dutton (viola); Sachi Patitucci (cello); Tim Ries (flute, alto flute); Eddie Simon (piano, percussion); Brian Blade (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Joe Barbaria.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (04/09/2002/04/10/2002).
Arrangers: John Patitucci; Luciana Souza.
Accomplished bassist John Patitucci has made a remarkably eclectic and intriguing record in SONGS, STORIES AND SPIRITUALS. The collection spans the gamut from classical (Gustav Holst's "In The Bleak Midwinter") to gospel (the syncopated African-roots spiritual "I Will Arise") to Brazilian (Jobim's "Chovendo Na Roseira"). As if this weren't enough, Patitucci also throws in show tunes (Rogers and Hart's "It Never Entered My Mind"), selections from the jazz cannon (Coltrane's "Wise One") and originals. Clearly the ethic of the outing is to encompass as many styles as possible, but what the collection lacks in unity it compensates for in ambition and breadth.
Of particular note here are the tracks that feature Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza. A unique talent, Souza melds the thin, studied tonality of classic Brazilian singers like Elis Regina to more contemporary phrasing and rhythms. Souza's detached, somewhat cerebral style meshes perfectly with the gestural playing of pianist Ed Simon, drummer Brian Blade, and the leader's fluent, melodic bass lines ("Now the River" is a fine example of this chemistry). Performance aesthetic is perhaps the only constant in this grab bag of material, but the excellent choice of compositions, arrangements, and personnel gives Patitucci's outing merit and appeal.