Pat Martino: Stone Blue
Genus' six-string electric bass and Dennard's cymbal ride drive the album; all but one piece are presented up-tempo with an emphasis on deliberate rhythms and front line conversation. Alexander's tenor saxophone voice is earthy and confident, while Martino's guitar enthuses with its desire to speak out. Together, they gel as one voice. The ballad "Never Say Goodbye" is a tearful dedication to guitarist Michael Hedges, who passed away last November in a tragic automobile accident at the age of 43. Over twenty years ago, while Martino was recovering from brain surgery, Hedges visited him in the hospital and played for him at his bedside.
Other dedications on the album include nods to Wes Montgomery and Jack McDuff. "13 To Go" and "Mac Tough" include organ romps from Brown. "Joyous Lake" is a happy tune that was originally recorded in 1977 just before Martino's ten-year hiatus. Adhering to the album's urban theme, the arrangement juxtaposes a Brazilian carnival backdrop with lyrical offerings from guitarist, saxophonist, and keyboardist. An overt enthusiasm and hearty front line drive Martino's latest album through timeless city streets. Recommended.
Track Listing: Uptown Down; Stone Blue; With All the People; 13 To Go; Boundaries; Never Say Goodbye; Mac Tough; Joyous Lake; Two Weighs Out.
Record Label: Blue Note Records