John Patitucci’s creativity soared on One More Angel, an introspective and deeply personal effort that found him using music to reflect on events in his life (including a tragic miscarriage his wife Sashi had suffered). One More Angel was a darn tough act to follow, but the bassist provided a respectable follow-up with the very different Now. This time, Patitucci emphasizes the cerebral and the angular, and the native New Yorker (who plays acoustic bass on seven selections and electric bass on three) does it with the help of a pianoless team that includes Michael Brecker or Chris Potter on tenor sax, John Scofield on guitar, and Bill Stewart on drums. Patitucci clearly enjoys a strong rapport with his sidemen on intellectual originals like “Espresso,” “Out of the Mouths of Babes,” and “Forgotten But Not Gone,” as well as interpretations of McCoy Tyner’s “Search for Peace” and John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” (an electric bass/drums duet with Stewart). Overall, Now isn’t as accessible or as consistently lyrical as One More Angel, Mistura Fina, or Heart of the Bass — this is a complex, cerebral offering that demands more of the listener than any of Patitucci’s previous releases. But those who don’t shy away from Now because of its complexity will find that the album has a lot going for it. – Alex Hendersonmore »
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