Music We Are may appear, on the surface, to be yet another in a long line of piano trio records released every year—not that there's anything wrong with that—but in the hands of DeJohnette, pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patitucci, the music not only transcends the expectations of the format, but stretches the boundaries of music, plain and simple. Eclectic and esoteric, it's an album that celebrates the cross-pollination of music from the earth's four corners while revering the jazz tradition that permits music to be made on such fertile ground, with abstract classicism, tinges of Gamelan and folkloric innocence intersecting and driving the music to unexpected and joyous places.
John Patitucci amply demonstrates that there's more to him than just great bass chops, but that there's a serious composer/arranger at work as well, one who's not afraid to experiment and try new things that will challenge himself and his listeners.
John Patitucci's Line by Line is mostly a quiet and thoughtful affair. The performances often feature close interplay between the bassist and guitarist Adam Rogers, with stimulating support from drummer Brian Blade and occasional guest appearances by the great tenor Chris Potter. The music is adventurous but often lyrical, with Patitucci being a key soloist but not completely dominating the performances, giving his sidemen plenty of space of their own.
When GRP dropped John Patitucci in 1996, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The bassist found a supportive new home in Concord Jazz, where his creativity was encouraged and he was able to take his share of chances. Just as 1998's cerebral Now was a departure from 1996's introspective, deeply personal One More Angel, Imprint finds Patitucci surprising his followers once again by emphasizing Latin elements. Employing drummer Jack DeJohnette and saxman Chris Potter, as well as Latino improvisers, pianist Danilo Perez and drummer/percussionist Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Imprint is the most Latin-minded album that he recorded in the 1990s.
Songs for Drella is a concept album by Lou Reed and John Cale, both formerly of the Velvet Underground, and is dedicated to the memory of Andy Warhol, their mentor, who had died unexpectedly in 1987. Drella was a nickname for Warhol coined by Warhol superstar Ondine, a contraction of Dracula and Cinderella, used by Warhol's crowd but never liked by Warhol himself. The song cycle focuses on Warhol's interpersonal relations and experiences, with songs falling roughly into three categories: Warhol's first-person perspective (which makes up the vast majority of the album), third-person narratives chronicling events and affairs, and first-person commentaries on Warhol by Reed and Cale themselves…