Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication with Songs, Stories & Spirituals having few equals.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
A critic is far more than the next new release. A critic is a musical prospector sifting through the sand and silt of forgotten releases and memories looking for that elusive gold nugget. The 2003 release Songs, Stories & Spirituals from bassist John Patitucci is one of those rare gems to be treasured. A traditional setting of intimacy and free flowing movement transforms originals and classic compositions into a deeply personal look at the power and beauty of a melody laid bare.
Premier vocalist Luciana Souza lends her prolific talent to a series of moving arrangements that take these simply melodies to an elevated plane with performances that are nothing short of harmonic wonder. Melodies are not mangled with arrangements, they are embraced. One particular high point is the duet with Brian Blade on John Coltrane's "Wise One." There is an unmistakable air of melancholy that never dances the morose tightrope. The emotions here are heartfelt and highly evocative with genuine stories to share. Personal and artistic visions collide as one.
There is nothing ostentatious here as this exploration of both song and story carry the listener along a path of elegance and emotional depth few recordings can match.
You never review genius, you celebrate genius!
Personnel: John Patitucci: acoustic bass, 6-string electric bass; Brian Blade: drums, percussion; Ed Simon: piano; Luciana Souza; vocals; John Thomas: vocals; Elizabeth Lim-Dutton: violin; Richard Rood: violin; Lawrence Dutton: viola; Sachi Patitucci: cello; Tim Ries" flute, alto flute; Tom Patitucci: nylon string guitar.