Friday, July 08, 2011

Music Notes – One More Angel

John Patitucci is one of the most gifted and expressive bassists I have ever heard, and lately I’ve been listening to a lot of bass players. In addition to his solo work, Patitucci has played with legends like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker and Chick Corea. I recently found One More Angel in the clearance bin, and after listening to it several times, I am happy for the bargain, but sad that such fine music was relegated to a price of two dollars.
Probably my favorite tracks are “Arrival,” “San Michele,” “One More Angel,” and “Snowbound.” On the title piece, the late Michael Brecker plays a such languid, delicious tenor that one might be tempted to forget the overwhelming sadness that informs the tune. Pianist Alan Pasqua and drummer extraordinaire Paul Motian provide timbre for this and everything on the album that is near perfect. There is not one song that failed to make me smile.
The album is also a family affair with Patitucci’s brother on acoustic guitar for two songs and his wife Sachi playing cello on the tender cut “Romance.” Of course it is John Patitucci’s playing and compositions which pull this project together and make it unforgettable. Listen to the solo piece “Sachi’s Eyes” and you should be amazed and delighted.
One More Angel is an intensely personal album. Patitucci writes in his notes about songs which are dedicated to his wife and to two children the couple had lost prior to this project. But though most of the tunes are ballads, none are lethargic or dirge like. There is a good deal of wonder in these songs, and more hope and joy than I have found on even the most recent vocal albums I have listened to lately.

No comments: