Songs, Stories & Spirituals

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
As its title states, John Patitucci’s new album covers a lot of ground. What ties it all together is his superb bass playing and his impressive compositional skills. An invaluable player whose credentials include important collaborations with Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter, Patitucci has also made a series of increasingly creative albums as a leader since the 1980s. On Songs, Stories & Spirituals, he merges work of a religious nature (“I Will Arise,” Holst’s “In the Bleak Midwinter”), lyrical instrumentals (“Rhapsodic Journey,” “Soulmate”), Latin-tinged material (Jobim’s “Chovendo na Roseria,” Luciana Souza’s “Now the River,” Djavan’s “Lei”), and straightforward ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
As its title states, John Patitucci’s new album covers a lot of ground. What ties it all together is his superb bass playing and his impressive compositional skills. An invaluable player whose credentials include important collaborations with Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter, Patitucci has also made a series of increasingly creative albums as a leader since the 1980s. On Songs, Stories & Spirituals, he merges work of a religious nature (“I Will Arise,” Holst’s “In the Bleak Midwinter”), lyrical instrumentals (“Rhapsodic Journey,” “Soulmate”), Latin-tinged material (Jobim’s “Chovendo na Roseria,” Luciana Souza’s “Now the River,” Djavan’s “Lei”), and straightforward jazz (“Tall Tale,” Rodgers & Hart’s “It Never Entered My Mind”) to create a compelling musical mix. As a bassist (both acoustic and electric), Patitucci is a wonder, his superb technique matched by his lustrous sound. He surrounds himself with first-class support players as well, including pianist Ed Simon, drummer Brian Blade (his rhythm section partner in Shorter’s band), and singer John Thomas. Cellist Elizabeth Patitucci and Brazilian expatriate vocalist and composer Luciana Souza are given prominent spots as well. The album concludes with a bass-and-drum duet on Coltrane’s “Wise One,” a persuasive feature that connects Patitucci’s nod to the past with his vision for the future.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
John Patitucci goes for a varied approach on Songs, Stories & Spirituals, as the album's title implies. The main influences, constants in his work, are Brazilian music and American gospel, though he transforms those styles into his own introspective sound. And he adds other elements, notably folk and classical music, in a rendition of early 20th century English composer Gustav Holst's treatment of 19th century English poet Christina Rossetti's "In the Bleak Midwinter," show music with Rodgers & Hart's "It Never Entered My Mind," and post-bop jazz with John Coltrane's "Wise One." All of this hangs together due to the core trio of Patitucci on bass, Ed Simon on piano, and Brian Blade on drums, playing in a low-key manner that supports vocals on two-thirds of the tracks. Those vocals, especially Luciana Souza's, have a removed, ethereal quality in keeping with the instrumentalists' contemplative work. Several of Souza's vocals are in Portuguese, but even when she's singing in English, on "In the Bleak Midwinter" with John Thomas and "It Never Entered My Mind," she sounds otherworldly. Patitucci gives Simon, who appropriately hails from Venezuela by way of Philadelphia or the other way around, plenty of solo time and himself stays in the background for much of the record. He doesn't even play on his own composition, "Love Eternal," which features Simon with his wife, Sachi Patitucci, on cello. But he comes out in force on acoustic bass at the end with "Wise One," a duet with Blade that confirms his jazz chops. Patitucci's music and playing tend to be more impressive than engaging, but Songs, Stories & Spirituals rewards repeat listenings.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/11/2003
  • Label: Concord Records
  • UPC: 013431214922
  • Catalog Number: 2149
  • Sales rank: 103,018

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Tall Tale (4:56)
  2. 2 Chovendo Na Roseira (6:13)
  3. 3 I Will Arise (3:19)
  4. 4 Lei (5:15)
  5. 5 In the Bleak Midwinter (4:57)
  6. 6 Three Faces (5:51)
  7. 7 Now the River (7:19)
  8. 8 Soulmate (4:31)
  9. 9 Rhapsodic Journey (3:17)
  10. 10 It Never Entered My Mind (8:20)
  11. 11 Love Eternal (3:44)
  12. 12 Wise One (4:26)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Patitucci Primary Artist, Acoustic Bass, 6-string bass, 6-string Electric Bass
Brian Blade Percussion, Drums
Tim Ries Flute, Alto Flute
Sachi Patitucci Cello
Thomas Patitucci Guitar (Nylon String)
Richard Rood Violin
John Charles Thomas Vocals
Luciana Souza Vocals
Eddie Simon Percussion, Piano
Elizabeth Lim Dutton Violin
Lawrence Dutton Viola
Technical Credits
John Patitucci Arranger, Producer, Orchestration
Joe Barbaria Engineer
John Burk Executive Producer
Mark Wilder Mastering
Abbey Anna Art Direction
Glen Barros Executive Producer
Luciana Souza Arranger
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