Pat Martino: Remember: A Tribute To Wes Montgomery (2006)
The tribute album allows an artist to document his indebtedness to another's influence on his own style with a more fully formed personal approach and individual voice. It shines a spotlight on the honoree's body of work in a way that no single record in that artist's discography did during his lifetime. And it introduces a new generation to the efforts of a player from a previous era. This album achieves success on these planes in a way that few commemoratives do.
No guitarist today (except possibly George Benson) is more qualified to fête Montgomery than Martino, whose own virtuosic advances on his instrument in the '60s drew heavily on Montgomery's innovations. Without a need to duplicate his early idol's sound, Martino instead delivers his own interpretations of five Montgomery originals ("Four On Six, "Full House, "Twisted Blues, "Road Song and "West Coast Blues ) and five songs associated with him (Carl Perkins' "Groove Yard, Milt Jackson's "Heartstrings and "SKJ, Sam Jones' "Unit Seven, the standard "If I Should Lose You ) in a respectful manner that points towards Montgomery's bluesy lyricism, but is unmistakably Martino.
The leader and his bandmates come together exquisitely as a unit throughout the program of burners, ballads and blues. Pianist Dave Kikoski is particularly impressive, as both a fiery soloist and a sensitive accompanist. John Patitucci's solid bass work unobtrusively drives the group, and drummer Scott Allan Robinson and percussionist Daniel Sadownick work well together, the latter adding a refreshing flavor to the Latin-inflected numbers "Full House and "Road Song, two of the date's high points. Martino is incredibly articulate on uptempos, deeply grooving on the blues and immensely touching on ballads. Remember is a convincing reminder of the enormous talents of two of jazz's greatest guitarists.
Track Listing: Four on Six Montgomery; Groove Yard; Full House; Heart Strings; Twisted Blues; Road Song; West Coast Blues; S.K.J.; If I Should Lose You; Unit Seven.
Personnel: Pat Martino: guitar; Dave Kikoski: piano; John Patitucci: bass; Scott Allan Robinson: drums; Daniel Sadownick: percussion.