Bass luminary on touring with Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter and more
Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
November 27, 2017
By David Sands
A pioneer of the six-string bass, John Patitucci is frequently recognized at awards ceremonies and jazz polls as one of the finest acoustic and electric bassists out there today. Often he’s mentioned in the company of Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea, two jazz giants with whom he’s been a longtime collaborator and friend. Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis and the Brecker Brothers number among additional jazz greats he’s worked with. And if we’re to open things up beyond strictly jazz, it’s worth noting he’s also performed or recorded with the likes of B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah, Sting and Carly Simon, as well as Latin music stars Dori Caymmi and Milton Nascimento.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Patitucci studied classical bass at San Francisco State University and Long Beach State University and made his big breakthrough ‘80s and ‘90s playing with Chick Corea in three of his ensembles, the Elektric Band, the Akoustic Band, and Corea’s quartet. He’s also been a longtime member of Wayne Shorter’s quartet playing alongside pianist Danilo Perez and drummer Brian Blade.
A composer as well, he’s also released more than a dozen solo albums, with his debut recording, John Patitucci, rocketing to the top of the Billboard jazz charts. His most recent solo effort, 2015’s Brooklyn, was recorded on his own Three Faces Records label with his Electric Guitar Quartet. The making of that album also provided the backdrop of a documentary on Patitucci called Back In Brooklyn. Patitucci’s recorded work has won three Grammy Awards and many more nominations. He’s also the author of the instructional book Melodic Arpeggios and Triad Combining and has taught at the City College of New York, the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in Washington, D.C. and The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He’s currently a Visiting Scholar at the Berklee College of Music, teaching with both the Global Jazz Institute and the Bass Department.
FBPO’s Jon Liebman had a chance to catch up with his longtime friend during this year’s Detroit Jazz Fest, where he was performing with the Wayne Shorter Quartet.
Watch our interview with John: