Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Pat Martino at Birdland

Nick Catalano By

Sign in to view read count
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 group to perform without a bass—another longstanding feature of Martino aggregations ever since he stepped on stage as a 16 year old at Small's Paradise in Harlem .Since then, the guitarist has continually preferred to engage in his aesthetically laden conversations with a litany of organ giants including Jack McDuff, Willis Jackson, Don Patterson, Trudy Pitts (who appeared on Marti no's 1967 Prestige debut as a leader, El Hombre), Joey DeFrancesco ,and Tony Monaco.

The group began with a trio of Martino compositions : "Turnpike"; "Inside Out"; and "Dead Center." Listening to the vast cornucopia of improvisational designs and ideas articulated with his famous staccato attack is always a wonder, and on this night the Birdland audience (consisting almost entirely of Chilean tourists) was in rapt attention. Martino specializes in high- speed chases on the bandstand and his drummer Carmen Intorre certainly had a thorough workout. Bianchi's languorous soloing contrasted nicely with Martino and Alexander's clipped excursions, and the eight-bar trades in most of the tunes excitingly intensified the dialogues.

The group concluded the set with Sonny Rollins's "Oleo," which was serendipitous for me because the last time I had heard Martino perform this tune was before he had his aneuryism in 1980. It is one of the most amazing stories in music history because after life-saving brain surgery which eradicated his memory, Martino had to entirely relearn the guitar—which he did by listening to his own records.

These days Pat Martino continues apace, conducting jazz clinics, headlining in leading jazz clubs and festivals, and planning new recordings. His talent is a marvel for the ages and fans everywhere will want to catch his latest creations.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center New York Beat Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard New York Beat Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim New York Beat John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim
by Nick Catalano
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola New York Beat Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 31, 2017
Read John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland New York Beat John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 16, 2016
Read Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola New York Beat Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard" New York Beat Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center" New York Beat Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola" New York Beat Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim" New York Beat John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim
by Nick Catalano
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Mark Guiliana: A Natural Progression of Research" Interview Mark Guiliana: A Natural Progression of Research
by Angelo Leonardi
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Newport Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon" Extended Analysis Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon
by Doug Collette
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Holiday 2017 III - Popular" Bailey's Bundles Holiday 2017 III - Popular
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Chris Oatts Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Cafe" Live Reviews Chris Oatts Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Cafe
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 26, 2017

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!