Listening In: John Patitucci


WARREN SMITH, HOST: I’m Warren Smith, and today you’ll be listening in on my conversation with jazz bass master John Patitucci.

John Patitucci is not a household name among pop music listeners, but for those in the know in the world of music, especially in jazz, John Patitucci has achieved near legendary status. He been the secret sauce in many recordings you probably have heard, including popstar Natalie Cole’s 1991 blockbuster album, Unforgettable, which sold more than 7 million copies. John Patitucci has also played with rock and pop stars Norah Jones, Warren Zevon, and the solo projects of pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.

But he’s made his biggest mark as a sideman for Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and many other jazz greats. He’s been voted Best Jazz Bass player in many magazine polls, including Guitar Player and Bass Player magazines. He received a Grammy nomination for his work with the Wayne Shorter Quartet. An album he played on with Herbie Hancock and Roy Hargrove called Directions In Music is now regarded as one of the most significant jazz recordings of the past half century and it won a 2003 Grammy Award for best instrumental album.

John Patitucci is also a committed Christian and a teacher of music at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in New York City. He’s released a many albums on his own and often includes jazz arrangements of traditional Christian songs on his albums. He’s also become a collaborator with modern hymn writer Keith Getty, performing with Getty at his sold out Carnegie Hall Christmas shows for the past few years. In fact, I had this conversation with John Patitucci backstage at Carnegie Hall back in December, and just before he went on stage with the Gettys, Phil Keaggy, Tim Keller, and others as part of their sold out Christmas performance there. But before we get into our conversation, here’s just a taste of John Patitucci’s remarkable playing. This short excerpt is from a live performance at New York City’s legendary Blue Note. He’s performing with Chick Corea.

MUSIC: [John Patitucci playing with Chick Corea]

John Petrucci, welcome to the program. I want to start, if I could back in the early days. I understand that you’re left handed, that you are started out because your older brother kind of turned you onto the guitar and that you ended up switching to the bass because the guitar was kind of tough for you being left handed. Is that more or less accurate?

PATITUCCI: It’s partly the reason, yeah, because the pic in the right hand just felt weird. And also I have very thick fingers and kind of cramming them on to the small guitar neck didn’t feel too good. My brother was very intuitive and he was the one who put the electric bass in my hand.

SMITH: And so you started playing the electric bass when you were a teenager.

PATITUCCI: Ten years old.

SMITH: Wow. So even earlier than that. And by the time you got to college, you had been playing a while and you’d kind of made a decision even by then that you wanted to have a career in music?

PATITUCCI: Yeah, I think I was about 12 when I naively said that’s it. I want to play music. Yeah.

SMITH: Well, I want to kind of trace your development as a musician and your development as a person, especially as a Christian person, but let’s stick with the music here for just a minute. So you get to college and you study originally classical music. Is that accurate?

PATITUCCI: In college I did. I studied everything but classical music before that. I was into… I mean, I’m born in ’59, so I grew up, you know, heard all that great music in the 60s, R&B music, soul music was my first love, real love. But also love the Beatles and rock and roll music and pop music and then later on I got into Latin music and all kinds of other stuff. But by the time I was in my mid teens, I was about 15 when I got to pick up the acoustic bass and start messing with that.

Once I did that, I was involved in also playing in the school orchestra. And I had a mentor who was kind of pointing me in many directions, like he was always kind of one step ahead of me. And he said, okay, when you go to college you’re going to study with Mr. Siani at San Francisco State. He’s the principal of the opera and you’re going to study classical music because you really need to get that together too. It’ll help your jazz playing, too. So that’s what happened in college. I was three years a classical double bass major. All my teachers thought I was going to be an orchestral player.

SMITH: So what turned the tide for you back towards, well, let’s say away from classical music and more towards pop and jazz?

PATITUCCI: Well, I loved playing classical music and studying that as well, but at the end of my junior year, my teacher, you know, he wanted me to kind of stop playing all the other music I love and just concentrate on classical music. And that’s when I left school, and went out on the road.

SMITH: Well, that classical training, that training in being able to read music and theory and all of that has served you well over the course of your career because you’ve been a composer or you’ve been, you’ve arranged music, you’ve been a teacher at the college level yourself. I know you’re, you’re at the Berklee School now. So, without maybe being too preachy here, what would you advise a young person, because I know you spend a lot of time with young people, would you tell them to go ahead and stick with that education?

PATITUCCI: It depends on where they’re going. For me, my parents couldn’t afford to send me to places like Berklee or Eastman. My wife went to Eastman, she graduated from Eastman, which is an amazing place too… or Juilliard or… They didn’t have that kind of dough. So I went to state schools in California, which at the time had some great bass teachers and some good orchestral things and some good jazz bands and stuff like that. But not really developed huge programs like some of these other places where you really study and do a lot of different things. So for me, I think it’s important to study and learn the nuts and bolts of music and how it’s put together. But here’s my caveat for that: If you only learn the intellectual cerebral side of music and you don’t get your ear really trained—and a lot of classical-oriented schools don’t really have ear training that helps someone learn how to play jazz music. The kind of ear training that a jazz musician needs is way more linear and it’s in milliseconds. You need to be able to react.

SMITH: Well, let me ask you to drill down into that a little bit, John, because when you say ear training, do you mean you’ve got to be listening to the other players and seeing where you fit into that?

PATITUCCI: You literally need to be able to recognize harmonic movements and know what it is in a millisecond. There is no time to think about it. You have to be able to know, oh, that’s this kind of a chord. Oh, he altered… that kind of ear training without… Because a lot of students, you know, they learn the book knowledge of what chords are and harmonic. In jazz, harmonic language is very rich and deep. But it only works if you have a rhythmic backbone that’s really powerful. And they don’t really teach that in conservatories either.

SMITH: I want to pivot just a little bit in our conversation at this point, John, because you mentioned your older brother that got you started on the guitar and which ultimately became the bass. This same older brother ended up studying theology and becoming a pastor. You are a committed Christian. Of course you and I are here in Carnegie Hall, which answers the age old question, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? You practiced. I took the train. But you know, you’re here. When you were sort of discovering yourself as a musical being were you also following Christ during that era?

PATITUCCI: I didn’t wind up really committing to the Lord Jesus until I was about 17, which for some people would say that’s young. My life of faith was an interesting thing. I grew up in Brooklyn in a Roman Catholic Church. I was an altar boy. I was even thinking about becoming a priest until they told me the rules, you couldn’t have a family and eh, I don’t want to do that. And I remember my brother and I were altar boys and you know, all that. And then we moved to California when I was about 15. We grew a little disillusioned about what was going on and we wanted to get some answers and we wanted to know. I went in and spoke to a priest and I said, I think you know these things, you’re supposed to tell me how to get close to God. And I had to go into the confessional to talk to him. So he talked to me for a while, and I said, I need you to tell me how to get close to God because I want to reach, I don’t know where He is and feel like He’s far away. And he told me to go out and say three Hail Mary’s and four Our Fathers. And in my mind I went, that’s not the right answer.

At the precise time in high school, I met these gentlemen. One was a youth pastor and one was a music minister of this church in, at that time, Walnut Creek, California, which was near where we lived. We had moved to California at that point in the 70s. It was 1977 for me. And what happened is they had been hiring me for about a year to play at their church. And I was asking them questions and they had answers that made sense to me. They took the Word of God, and said you can study the Word of God yourself, you can learn and God will show you and open up His Word. The Holy Spirit will give you that. And also, they spoke to me about grace, which I had no idea of before, really the concept of grace, that if I gave my heart to the Lord, He would wash my sins away and He would make me His son.

So they explained the gospel to me and they took me to the Bible and I started reading. And that summer of ’77 in August about I got saved. My brother got saved around the same time through different people. It was really wild. We’ve always been close, we were like twins even though he’s three years older. So that was interesting that God took us at the same time to make sure that we wouldn’t grow apart. And we talk all the time. Then, you know, I started studying too. I think if I hadn’t become a musician, I would have followed a similar path to my older brother. I look up to him a lot and I still read, I’ve always read a lot of theology and I’ve been a deacon and an elder in my churches along the way. So I’ve been involved in church planting even.

And my wife is a strong Christian and a great cellist. So I had no idea. I was very naive about the music thing. I really wanted to do certain things. I had heroes that I wanted to play with. You know, I didn’t know how it was all gonna work out, but God did. And He opened a lot of doors and he created many situations that by the time I was 25 I got some major gigs that took me all around the world. And all of a sudden soon after that I had a record deal and I was making my own recordings and writing, playing with all kinds of people. But, you know, between the years of 17 and 25, He opened many doors before some of the hugest breaks came, so I was already, and also playing in church and doing prison ministry and doing different things and learning a lot about what it means to try to walk the walk and not just talk the talk of being a Christian.

SMITH: John, I wanted to just go a little bit farther down that path, but now that you’ve introduced us to your Christian faith and I want to ask about how you reconciled what you were doing with your professional life and your Christian faith. I mean because, well, just as you and I are talking, Roy Hargrove passed away recently. And you played with Roy Hargrove. He had lots of drug and alcohol problems over the years. In fact, that’s kind of the cliche of the jazz musician, right? I mean everybody from Coltrane forward is, it may not be true, but it is the myth that the jazz guy’s like the drug addict or the alcoholic and they die young and leave a beautiful corpse.

PATITUCCI: It’s kind of a racist stereotype at this point, and it’s not always true. No. Sadly, we’ve lost some dear brothers that were very influential and even, in Coltrane’s case, very spiritual and very deep person who struggled but who was an innovator and one of my greatest heroes.

SMITH: Well, I’m not trying to say that that was a fact, because clearly to me… I mean, I know enough about jazz… I’m not an expert like you are. It’s a very sophisticated music. It requires a tremendous amount of discipline. You don’t get good at it unless you got something going on. So, I know that sort of that stereotype really is a myth but still it has happened and even without all the sex, drugs and rock and roll, so to speak, I mean, it’s an unusual life, right? I mean, you’re playing in the evening. You’re on the road. It is hard to get, to stay plugged into a church and to stay plugged into a family. How did you do it?

PATITUCCI: You know, it’s interesting. Sometimes people would say, how can you be a musician and be a Christian? I said, well, tell you, I think there’s a lot more drug addicts on Wall Street than there are in my scene. [laughs] So sometimes people have preconceived notions of what occupations, their relationships to those things. You know, I think, the same temptations are around for everybody. The difference is, yes, I think with family life, you really have to make a strong commitment to the Lord and your family. And make decisions where you don’t work as much or travel as much, ultimately. Sometimes it’s hard because when you’re coming up you got, you got to feed them and you’ve got to go out there and work.

For me, you know, my wife and I now have been married for almost 24 years and she’ll be coming later tonight to see the show. She’s amazing lady. For us, though, when we were younger, we had been in first marriages which were very, in my case was the reverse stereotype. I was very dedicated to the Lord and my relationship and I won’t go into it, but there was not a reciprocal kind of thing happening on the other side. So, sometimes those stereotypes are just not true. You can be very devoted to your family and your Lord and still be a musician who travels. I know many. But it’s not that easy in that, you know, then we started having kids and at first we took the kids with us a lot. Then they started going to school and couldn’t take them out of school. So you have to learn how to… I think your devotional life has to become really consistent and strong. I’m somebody who likes to read, so I’m always reading devotionals. There’s a guy who’s going to speak tonight named Tim Keller. I know him and I’ve been reading many of his books for years and I read them every day. I read his devotionals. There’s one on the Psalms and there’s one on Proverbs. And I take them on the road too.

SMITH: So that’s a part of how you were able to maintain your faith, on the road. Tell me a little bit more about sort of how you reconcile, you know, life as a professional musician that doesn’t involve a lot of travel and sort of the rest of your life. And I know at some point you started teaching, as I mentioned earlier, you’re at Berklee. Has teaching become a more important part of your life and career as you’ve gotten older? Or has it become just natural, but because you are known as one of the world’s premier bass players, they come to you?

PATITUCCI: I think it was dual. What happened was when we were on that tour, I think we were speaking, I don’t know if we spoke on mic about it yet, but the tour that we did with Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove and Brian Blade. It was around 2001. It was called Directions In Music.

SMITH: By the way, a classic. Just to express my appreciation and admiration for that album. I mean, I think a lot of jazz people will say it’s one of the great jazz albums of the late 20th century.

MUSIC: [Directions In Music]

PATITUCCI: Right around that time, you know, we were talking a lot about things and the girls were fairly young. My first daughter was born 1997 and the other one was born in 2000, so they were pretty young. And my wife was saying, I’m going to pray that there’s a teaching gig that’ll open up so that you can be pickier about when you want to leave town. And at that point I was skeptical. I said, well, that would be great, but I just don’t see it. I don’t see them. I don’t see one anywhere. Like I looked at all the different schools and most of the jobs were adjunct professorships. So, no benefits, no, you know, all those things, health insurance and all that stuff. And I said, so I don’t really know if that exists, but go ahead, you know?

And my wife, whenever she prays, things tend to happen. So all of a sudden, very soon after that Ron Carter stopped teaching at City College in Harlem. That’s part of the CUNY system, the City Universities of New York, which are, there are several of them and they’re very good. So I got the job. You know, I went and interviewed for the job and I got it. And there I was, you know, I had some roots in that. And it did help me to, you know, sort of order the rest of my life around some of that. And then I taught there for nine years about. And then Danilo Perez, my dear friend who we’ve been playing together for years with Wayne Shorter’s group, with Brian Blade on drums, he kept saying, I need you at Berklee.

And I said, well, you know, I only drive 20 minutes to Harlem to teach. It’s going to have to be some incredible deal because I don’t have to commute or anything. But he did offer me an amazing deal and I’ve been up at Berklee now for quite a while already, 7-8 years, I think.

SMITH: Berklee’s Berklee, right? I mean, especially for jazz people. There are a lot of folks who say that it’s best in the world.

PATITUCCI: Well, I don’t know, you know, I don’t know how to compare it, but I know one thing, the program that I’m in right now is the most special kind of program I’ve ever been in. What Danilo created in the Global Jazz Institute is amazing because not only because of its rigorous training in the music, we really teach them about rhythm. Which is hard to get it a lot of places. And we teach them about everything you know, but we also teach them about the community part of the music and how it’s not just an individualistic thing, like some places really stress at all about the individual. But we’re using not only the template that comes from the African tradition of jazz music, which from African folkloric music where the community teaches the rhythms and the community creates the great music, not just an individual.

The individual is always part of a family and a community. And we go even further than that. The kids have to play at nursing homes and old age homes and orphanages and we take them around the world and they play in countries where there are underprivileged children and they teach them music. And so they learn about music as a missional tool to change the world and also show the world that people of all stripes, colors and shades and creeds can communicate and have community through music. It’s amazing thing.

SMITH: And that’s been sort of a lesson of your life, right? I mean that the best jazz in particular happens in community. It happens in groups that even someone like a Miles Davis or a Wayne Shorter or Herbie Hancock, amazing musicians as individuals, but we know them because of the work they did as part of a group.

PATITUCCI: Yeah. They created groups that changed the face of jazz music. Miles did it many times. And in fact, the groups that Miles had spawned, many people that I wound up working with who became key people in my life, the first one that really got me a record deal and took me all around the world was Chick Corea. He played with Miles. He introduced me to Herbie. Herbie Hancock and I’ve been playing on and off for years. And I met through Chick, Wayne Shorter. And Wayne Shorter and I have been playing… I’ve been in his quartet for 18 years. We just did a big Kennedy honors for him. So you know, these people in my life have taught me a lot of things about that serious family, that community aspect of the music. The part where you really learn how to to serve each other in the music and set each other up to soar. And how that when music is made in a group like that, it tends to be… It’s very spiritual and it affects people deeply.

SMITH: John, I know that when you’re playing with these guys, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, you know, all these guys, you want to show up. You want to be a great band member, you want to be a great bass player. You want to be all of that. Is there an opportunity ever for you to talk about your faith with those guys? Is that something that you try to do, you seek to do or just shows up naturally or doesn’t show up?

PATITUCCI: There’ve been definitely opportunities over the years and some really good conversations actually. You know, as a Christian, the sensitivity to the Spirit in that thing that to be in tune in the moment and know when to speak and not to speak is a big challenge. And sometimes it’s like you really feel like, ah, what should I do? You know? And sometimes you do speak and it works out well and sometimes you don’t and you wish you had or sometimes you start to speak and then you realize that the timing’s not right. I’ve experienced all of those and I’ve had some very deep discussions with folks that I really love and care about who some of them espoused different, you know, belief systems.

SMITH: Yeah. Well, and I know, I’ve watched some videos of you online, interviews that you’ve done online before in preparation for the conversation that I had. And some, in very secular settings, you have been very open about talking about your faith. So the other side of that coin is when you talk about your faith, have you ever experienced that as a negative? Do people say, oh man, we don’t want that Jesus freak, John Patitucci hanging around?

PATITUCCI: Well, I don’t know, maybe those conversations went on in private [laughs] and I never heard them. But, in general, I can’t complain with the way I’ve been treated by other people. You know, who knows, you know, like I say, I don’t know. But in general, you know, I think the thing is we gotta fly low. You’ve got to come in low and try to try to meet people, with that love, that grace. I think people really get, you know, I would just say my one thing to remember, my cheap advice is remember that Jesus Christ’s harshest words were for the Pharisees, the people that their whole job was to judge people and try to wield power over them. That was their thing. And man, he had the most intense words that I’ve ever seen in the Bible that Jesus spoke in terms of vitriol towards those people. I think we have to learn how to love people well, because it’s not easy and we have to do that.

It’s not an option. It’s not something that he says you can do if you want. No, he says we’re supposed to go be salt and light and we’re supposed to… The Great Commission involves going and speaking to the world. But even He who could have come and been completely judging everybody, He didn’t do that. He met them where they were and He loved them in a way that’s so powerful. It’s not cheap grace. I know that. He gave His life for that. But His example is such a high level of love and sacrifice and with no pretense, even though He, of all people who’s the king of the universe, could have acted that way, if He wanted to. But He didn’t choose that. And that’s why I think the people of the day, those people who wanted the military messiah who would come and just vanquish everybody were very upset and disappointed with His path. And I think for all of us, we need to learn from that because there’s not an easy path to die to ourselves. In fact, you know, we’re arrogant and we’re selfish and we’re foolish. And we don’t have the answers. And I think, I always like to say if you really want to see how God uses His scalpel and molds you in as a sculptor, just get married and have kids. [laughs] Then you’ll find out all the things that you need to change.

SMITH: Well, you know, we’ve been talking about community, we’ve been talking about family a little bit and sort of how to be a witness in the world. And that causes me to want to pivot in our conversation once again to talk about why we’re here tonight. Because Keith Getty has done an amazing job over the years, of sort of pulling together around him these musicians. You and I are, for example, sitting in a dressing room that you’re sharing with Phil Keaggy tonight. We met in the hall, as we were walking here, a guy that you guys were talking about, Ricky Skaggs together. The last time I was here at Carnegie Hall, Ricky was one of Keith’s collaborators that night. So, how did you sort of come… you and Keith start working together?

PATITUCCI: For years I was at a Presbyterian church called Trinity Presbyterian in Rye, not far from here. And our pastor was friends with a really good friend of Keith’s who and I’m so sorry I’m having a senior moment. I’m spacing on his name, but he’s an Irishman. Really, really great guy who went to our church and I’d see him every once in a while. And our pastor Craig Higgins, who’s a big fan of, you know, the music from Nashville and all that, and also loves Getty’s hymns and things. This guy would bring our fellow pastor to these things. And somehow it all happened eventually that the gentleman approached me, the guy who was going to my church. And he said, man, I’m friends with Keith. And Keith apparently knew something about me. And then they put us together. And then that was the start of it.

SMITH: Well, it doesn’t surprise me that Keith knew your music because I mean, anybody that knows anything about jazz, would know your, your music. So when y’all, what was the first sort of interaction? Did you just talk on the phone? Did y’all do a gig together?

PATITUCCI: I came to one of these. And I think I came to the one same one you did about four years ago when Ricky was playing. And I loved it. It was great. And I went back and they had me come back and I met them and hung out with them. I even prayed before the gig with them. And then next year I started being involved. They wanted me to play, you know. They said, well, we need you to come back next year and play. So then we started doing it. And I really enjoyed being with the guys and you know, the musicians and trying to be an encouragement and just enjoy being here. You know, I like it a lot.

SMITH: John, I hope you’ll forgive me for sort of pivoting yet again, but I just want to talk a little inside baseball with you. You said that you are left handed but you played the bass right hand and you play the bass in the conventional way. And the other thing that I’ve noticed about your bass playing, I mean, you play the upright base some. But mostly you play the electric bass.

PATITUCCI: It’s really 50/50. Yeah. And since I came back to New York I play sometimes people forgot that I played the electric bass because I was playing so much of the acoustic bass. But yeah, I play both.

SMITH: You know, most people know the conventional electric bass is four strings. But you will play five- and even six-string basses.

PATITUCCI: So yeah, I have a six tonight, that I’ll play. Yeah, I play a lot of six actually. Yeah.

SMITH: And is that because you got started on the guitar or what’s that all about?

PATITUCCI: Maybe from hearing my brother play for many years, but really Anthony Jackson was the pioneer of the six-string bass in the late 70s, early 80s. And about 1985 I got my first one. And I started playing it with Chick Corea in the electric band. So yeah, I got interested in the extended low range and the extended high range for soloing but also for baselines, you know, to go way down. Because in the 80s the synthesizer players were playing lower notes than we were. And I said, wait a minute, they can’t have… We’re the bass, we got to have the low notes, you know. So that was part of the intrigue with the six-string bass. And Anthony Jackson was a pioneer and a genius of that.

SMITH: Well, the other kind of inside baseball question I want to ask you this, how much do you practice? I mean, you’re a guy that, you know, was voted the best jazz player on the planet three, four, five years in a row and you’re always sort of in that top tier and you’re performing a lot. Do you still have to practice every day?

PATITUCCI: Absolutely. I mean with life and a family is not always everyday, but I’m always practicing for the next thing that’s coming or you know there’s always something going on. And I’m going to have to be practicing a lot more again because I made a record that’s half at least half solo-based performances and there’s some other people added on in the record, but there’s some things that I’m going to be dealing with and playing, including a solo Bach thing that I recorded. On the six-string bass, but next year it’s going to be released called Soul of the Bass.

SMITH: Since you mentioned solo bass playing, you know, the bass for years has been an accompanying instrument. I mean, especially in the orchestra. There’s the bow and it just kinda, you know, hold the down the bottom, which is still good. Yeah, it still does that still great. So I mean that’s, you know, I can tell when the bass is not there when I’m listening to something. But then you’ve got innovators like you, like Victor Wooten, for example. Is this like a golden age for the bass?

PATITUCCI: Well, it’s hard to say. I know that, you know, we have some forefathers that really were, blew the doors open and, you know, on the electric bass, you could say, you know, James Jamison started the ball rolling in the late 50s, in the 60s. Monk Montgomery too, who was Wes’s brother, and some other players. And then there was Chuck Rainey and all these guys. And then there was Jocko and before that there was Stanley Clark who was a huge figure on both instruments.

So I have to say that those things started happening in the… when the electric bass was created in 1951, late 50s, 60s, it started to, people started picking up, expanding. And then through the 70s and 80s, it was, you know, there was a lot happening and keeps happening, you know. And the acoustic bass, in North America, you could say the first virtuoso we had, was in the 1960s. His name was Gary Carr. And he made a record that blew everybody’s minds. And then in the 70s in my generation, we were expected to be able to play those pieces that he recorded. And in college, all of a sudden it got really deep, you know, all of a sudden you had to play solo Bach and all this stuff that was scary for me when I entered college. I was like, oh my gosh, what? You know. So yeah, it’s been kind of an explosion in innovation and everything for a long time now actually.

SMITH: You know, Keith Getty does a lot of Celtic music. It’s very heavily bluegrass influenced. You’re a jazz guy. And I’m wondering what your reaction to this. I’ve always kind of thought that there was some kinship between bluegrass and jazz because they’re both improvisational media. They’re both often small ensemble groups that are doing the performances. Am I’m making this up or do you see that?

PATITUCCI: Well, I think there’s… they have a different language in the way they improvise, but there’s a lot of interesting linear comparisons that can be made in there. They have their own kind of swinging that they do too, which is kinda cool.

SMITH: Now John, I hope you have many more years of great playing ahead of you and great teaching and all that kind of stuff. But at some point, because you’re a believer, you know Scripture, it is appointed unto man once to die. And after that, the judgment, that’s what the Bible teaches us. I mean, how do you want people to remember John Patitucci?

PATITUCCI: I guess the most important thing would be if they could say like it says in the book of John, you know, they’re supposed to know us by our love. You know, that’s how they know we’re one of his children. If I can do that, just like all of us, you know, keep trying to die to myself, which of my selfishness and my sinful nature. If I can keep dying to that and try to love people better, not just my wife and my children, but everybody you know and give and serve, then I’ll be happy. Because it’s really, if you’re a Christian, it’s not good enough just to be known as a musician of note. You know, I always say, especially now the older I get, it’s like I’m not interested in impressing people. I would like to make them cry a little bit though. Move them, you know, with the music and that’s the spirit of God. That’s not… I can’t do that, but He can through me. So that’s my hope.

SMITH: Well, John Patitucci, it has been such an honor. I’ve known about your music for so many years and Keith has been telling me for three or four years, you gotta meet John Patitucci. You got interview, interview John Patitucci. I’m glad we finally did this.

PATITUCCI: Thank you very much, Warren. I appreciate it.


(Photo/Bass Player)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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