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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig / Pat Martino Trio: Young Guns

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The name Young Guns seems ironically amiss until one learns that this recording dates from 1968-69 when organist Gene Ludwig was thirty years old, guitarist Pat Martino twenty-three and drummer Randy Gelispie somewhere in that neighborhood, long before he became fondly known as “Uncle G." The organ trio was in its heyday then, and this one was caught on tape during an exciting live date at Club 118 in Louisville, KY. How many other such performances have been lost forever owing to the absence of a tape recorder or the failure to turn it on is anyone's guess. But this ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Pat Martino at Birdland

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The legendary musical power of Pat Martino was on display at Birdland on April 4, 2013, in all its glory. The myths that have arisen about this formidable guitarist will have new layers when the jazz cognoscenti begin commenting on his latest feats. Martino's burning swing, long the trademark of his improvisational wizardry, acquired added zip, with seminal saxophonist Eric Alexander joining him on the frontline of his latest quartet. The sound of the guitar and tenor articulating the heads of the tunes is rare and compelling. And the admixture of Pat Bianchi's Hammond B-3 allows the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pat Martino Quartet: Undeniable

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Learning to play guitar once is hard enough. Having to do it twice is truly mind-boggling. Pat Martino, who has done that and more during a career with more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel, has vanquished adversity time and again and remains, at age sixty-seven, one of the world's preeminent jazz guitarists. This point of view is Undeniable on Martino's latest album, recorded live in June 2009 with his working group at Blues Alley in Washington, DC. That Martino is playing at all is close to a miracle, as surgery for a brain aneurysm ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pat Martino: Undeniable

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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, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Pat Martino Quartet: Undeniable

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Pat Martino QuartetUndeniableHighNote2011 Hot buttered soul-jazz, Batman, guitarist Pat Martino's Undeniable is the business! Recorded live at Washington's Blues Alley in June 2009, with tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, organist Tony Monaco and drummer Jeff “Tain" Watts, it harks back to Martino's early to mid 1960s roots in combos led by organists Don Patterson, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff and Richard “Groove" Holmes. The album revisits the codified, fifty year-old style with invention. It is not a style Martino was born into. Brought up in Philadelphia, he was ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Martino: Philadelphia, PA, November 25, 2011

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Pat Martino TrioChris' Jazz CaféPhiladelphia, PANovember 25, 2011Sir Edmund Hillary, when asked why he scaled Mt. Everest, replied, “Because it is there." A similar explanation could be given for why guitarist Pat Martino fans go to hear him repeatedly: because he is there--in the Here and Now!, as the title of his 2011 Backbeat Books autobiography, co-written with Bill Milkowski, proclaims. Fans know they are going to get that rarefied mountaintop feeling from his startling electricity, mastery of the guitar and deep sensitivity to his music, his players, and his audiences. There is just nothing ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Pat Martino: Martino Unstrung - A Brain Mystery

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Pat MartinoMartino Unstrung - A Brain Mystery Sixteen Films2008

There is active dispute over whether guitarist Pat Martino's playing has the drive and edge it had before his brain surgery in 1980. Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, one of the many (briefly) talking heads in this documentary, says: “I like his sound better now." The film includes a few astute comments on Martino the musician--the best, surprisingly, coming from Who guitarist Pete Townshend.

But it's the surgery that is the central concern. Don't expect a musical portrait of Martino or even ...



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