Pat Martino: Undeniable (2011)
Guitar virtuoso Pat Martino's long awaited album, recorded live at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., serves as a homecoming of sorts, since he began his career within the classic jazz-organ combo format. As a leader, Undeniable is Martino's first album since the 2006 Blue Note Records Wes Montgomery tribute, Remember.
Martino's quartet parlays a prominent groove quotient, alternating the dynamic throughout the program. One of many highlights is Martino's "Double Play," a sleek jazz-blues designed with an understated, yet memorably melodic theme, and primarily executed within the lower and middle registers. Here, the quartet projects a budding storyline, where the guitarist's flickering lines, rhythmic accents, minor pauses and fluid single-note licks shade and extend the perimeter of its tuneful motif.
Organist Tony Monaco frames the pulse and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander dishes out soul-stirring treatments, as Martino gradually raises the pitch via sinuous linear phrasings, trills and circular chord patterns, as they ease back into the primary melody for the finale.
The band captures a mood, which is a winning attribute that remains a constant amid the up-tempo parts and the quartet's irrefutable solidarity, paired with Martino's signature voice and inimitable technique.
Personnel: Pat Martino: guitar; Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone; Tony Monaco: organ; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums.