If the last two years have taught us anything, it would be to strike a balance (precarious, perhaps) between celebrating life while continuing to cry. This year, the music community said goodbye to over 50 jazz icons; among them were people who forever changed the way we experience jazz, from Chick Corea and Dr. Lonnie Smith to George Wein and Greg Tate. Their music, performances, lyrics and impact endure, providing us with new opportunities to introduce new ears to the genre and grow alongside their legacy.
As we took stock of our losses, we realized the low end was hit the hardest and felt compelled to feature a bass player in this year’s visual tribute. John Patitucci and his wife, cellist Sachi Patitucci, have graciously agreed to help us honor these memories with a bittersweet ballad called “One More Angel”.
Shot in the Upton Bass String Instrument Co. showroom in Mystic, Connecticut, where the stringed instruments are still handcrafted, the union of simplicity and elegance was the perfect setting for Jazz evening in America to remember the icons we lost in 2021.
You can also listen to our Jazz evening‘s in memoriam radio episode for a closer look at the lives and contributions of nine of these artists – including Curtis Fuller, Pat Martino, Dottie Dodgion and Milford Graves.
“One More Angel” (composed by John Patitucci)
John Patitucci, bass
Sachi Patitucci, cello
Producers: Nikki Birch, Mitra I. Arthur; Audio recording and mixing engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Tsering Bista, Nickolai Hammar, Mitra I. Arthur, Nikki Birch; Publisher: Nikki Birch; Photo editor: Michele Abercrombie; Graphics: Amna Ijaz; Project manager: Suraya Mohamed; Main producers: Nikki Birch, Alex Ariff; Senior Director of NPR Music: Keith Jenkins; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Gabrielle Armand