Recorded late last year at a highly regarded Oakland, California nightclub, Pat Martino's trio session smokes from start to finish. Yoshi's
features an impressive lineup all year round. The audience reaction on this, Martino's twentieth album, is merely an outward expression of what we feel as we listen. Guitarist, organist and drummer romp through straight-ahead classics deliberately, setting aside plenty of time for stretching out. Over ten minutes in several cases, the pieces offered provide fine examples of solo mastery on their respective instruments. A transcription of Martino's solo on "Oleo" is available from his web site
. The guitarist, who will turn 57 later this month, was forced to relearn his instrument after suffering a brain aneurysm in 1980. He returned to the stage in 1984. Martino's guitar wizardry has returned full bore, even though itwasa difficult hill to climb.
"El Hombre" was the title track from his first public recording on Prestige Records in 1967. Martino's tune selection reveals a fondness for "old friends." These songs are tried and true. While the trio's instrumentation invites a comparison to the years Martino worked with Groove Holmes, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff and Don Patterson, this session proves fresh and contemporary. As with most live recordings, the artists are inspired. Martino's "Recollection" and "Catch" drive forcefully with a hot hand, while "Welcome to a Prayer" slows down with powerful emotion. Life has its ups and downs. It sure is great to hear that survivor Pat Martino has it all together.
Personnel: Pat Martino- guitar; Joey DeFrancesco- Hammond B-3 organ; Billy Hart- drums.