502

Pat Martino: First Light

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Pat Martino: First Light Guitar and fusion fans will surely welcome this excellent 32 Jazz set featuring all of Joyous Lake and Starbright, guitarist Pat Martino's two 1976 Warner Brothers albums. Martino left Muse Records in 1976 with the promise of mega-giant Warner's clout to reach a wider audience. Usually that spells concession to popular tunes or sellable formulas. And while this music is often more fusion-oriented than anything Martino had recorded up to this point, there's no sell out.

Joyous Lake catches Martino with keyboardist Delmar Brown and Kenwood Dennard, who reunited with the guitarist on last year's similar Stone Blue (also featuring Martino's delightful "Joyous Lake," which prefigures the music of Pat Metheny by nearly a decade). Here, electric bassist Delmar Brown also helps the quartet move around several flavors of funky fusion that recall then-sounds of Magical Shepherd -era Miroslav Vitous and Allan Holdsworth with nods toward Headhunter funk ("M'Wandishi")and Eleventh House rock ("Song Bird").

Starbright features a larger, all together different Martino group featuring three keyboardists (Gil Goldstein, Warren Bernhardt and Mike Maneri), three percussionists, bass, violin, flute and tabla. There are Martino's patented ruminations ("Starbright," reminiscent of Al DiMeola/Return to Forever, and "Prelude"), worthy fusion ("Law," "Deeda," "Blue Macaw) and two of Wayne Shorter's more contemplative ballads from Miles' 1967 opus Nefertiti ("Fall," "Nefertiti").

As always, Martino remains an engaging technical dazzler - as opposed to all those forgotten 70s guitar heroes who thought speed and sound meant good playing. Martino even experiments with guitar synthesizers and other effects (especially during the Joyous Lake tracks). But the strength of the guitarist's melodic personality, particularly during signature solos, is never in question.

This is music that can be enjoyed well beyond 1977. Over two decades later, there is substance and sustenance to Pat Martino's music and First Light is a valuable part of this great guitarist's ever-enduring legacy.


Track Listing: Line Games; Pyramidal Vision; Mardi Gras; M'Wandishi; Song Bird; Joyous Lake; Starbright; Eyes; Law; Fall; Deeda; Starbright Epilogue; Masquerada; Nefertiti; Blue Macaw; City Lights; Prelude; Epilogue.

Personnel: On Joyous Lake: Pat Martino: guitar, EML 101 synthesizer, synthesizer, percussion, flexiglass; Delmar Brown: Fender Rhodes, EML 500 synthesizer, Oberheim polyphonic synthesizer; Mark Leonard: electric bass; Kenwood Dennard: drums, percussion.
On Starbright: at Martino: guitar, synthesizer; Gil Goldstein: keyboards; Warren Bernhardt, Michael Maneri: synthesizers; Will Lee: bass; Charles Collins, Michael Carvin: drums; Alyrio Lima Cova: percussion; Marty Quinn: tablas; Al Regni: flute; Joe D'Onofrio: violin.

| Record Label: 32 Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "In All My Holy Mountain" CD/LP/Track Review In All My Holy Mountain
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "An Eclipse Of Images" CD/LP/Track Review An Eclipse Of Images
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Elegy" CD/LP/Track Review Elegy
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Celebrating Elvin Jones" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating Elvin Jones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!