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Chillin' or Bernin'

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We start this installment by looking at two artists confronting the jazz doldrums in the nineteen seventies and early eighties, then move on to two brand new releases by artists dealing with tradition in different ways, whether the small group classics of the fifties and sixties or the big band legacy. Talk about Lloyd Cole, Stephin Merritt and Andrew Bird rounds out the pop matters segment. Playlist Discussion of Pat Martino's album Starbright (Warner Brothers) 6:00 Discussion of ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Martino Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café

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Pat Martino Quintet Chris' Jazz Café Philadelphia, PA March 31, 2018 Legendary guitarist Pat Martino has recently made it a point of periodically performing at Chris' Jazz Café in his home town of Philadelphia. The management welcomes it because he has a large fan base and plays to full houses. This reviewer appreciates it because a) he bonded with Martino fifteen years ago after interviewing him for this website; and b) ...

INTERVIEWS

Pat Martino: In the Moment

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Legendary guitarist Pat Martino is devoted to living in the Here and Now! -coincidentally the title of his autobiography (DaCapo, 2011). Taking each moment as it is and adding full measures of love and spirituality, Martino is now well into his sixth decade as one of the most revered and sought after jazz musicians on the planet. The cover photo of his new CD Formidable (HighNote, 2017) shows Martino posing next to the statue of a lion, a symbol of ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Martino Quintet at Chris' Jazz Cafe

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Pat Martino Quintet Chris' Jazz Cafe Philadelphia, PA November 24, 2017 This first set of legendary Pat Martino's yearly two night Thanksgiving engagement at Chris' Jazz Café celebrated the release of his Quintet's CD Formidable (HighNote, 2017). The guys were really prepared for some hefty music-making, deserving the word “formidable," which on the CD cover, with Martino standing beside a statue of a lion, connoted the presence of the master with his pride. Here, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pat Martino: Formidable

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The title “Formidable" and the striking cover photo of Pat Martino in profile in front of a statue of a lion suggests that the great guitarist is going to unleash awesome powers. However, the proper meaning of formidable in this context is more to be taken as the presence of the master. Here and now, in late career, the lion is content. He displays his supremacy in a group setting. He leads the players in a moveable feast that recapitulates ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Martino at Dazzle

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Pat Martino Dazzle Denver, CO July 16, 2017 How can you introduce Pat Martino? I was asked to do this shortly before the Pat Martino Trio performed at Dazzle in Denver, Colorado on July 16. A lecture would have been easier for me, since I am a professor and I adore the man's playing. I also feel warmly toward him personally. I could only say a few things. I mentioned that his ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard

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Pat Martino Jazz Standard New York, NY August 3, 2017With his usual understated performance posturing, Pat Martino mounted the stage on opening night at The Jazz Standard and proceeded to captivate the packed house with his signature mixture of hard swing and lyrical balladry. Alongside his familiar bandmates organist Pat Bianchi and drummer Carmen Intorre Martino segued from tune to tune in the opening set with nary a word to the audience. Such has been ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Pat Martino Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café

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Pat Martino Quintet Chris' Jazz Cafe Philadelphia, PA November 25, 2016 Guitar legend Pat Martino periodically supplements his working trio--consisting of himself, organist Pat Bianchi, and drummer Carmen Intorre--with a horn section of Alex Norris on trumpet and Adam Niewood on tenor saxophone. This post-Thanksgiving set at Chris' Jazz Café demonstrated that this quintet has evolved into a tight, coordinated unit where Martino shines but the ensemble effect is “undeniable," which also happens to be ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pat Martino: Nexus

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This CD is not only a fine addition to the Pat Martino catalogue, it is also of historical importance with respect to his personal and musical development. Recorded at the well-known eclectic nightclub the Tin Angel in Philadelphia in the mid-nineties (the exact date is not given and probably unknown), it is a duet set (or selections from multiple sets) featuring Martino with pianist Jim Ridl, a giant creative force in his own right, who for about ten years worked ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Pat Martino Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café

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The Pat Martino Quintet Chris' Jazz Cafe Philadelphia, PA March 26, 2016 Legendary guitarist Pat Martino has traversed several musical landscapes in a career spanning more than five decades. He went from being a mind-blowing newcomer in the Harlem and soul blues jazz scene in the sixties to a major contributor to hard bop and fusion music in the seventies. Then, in 1980, brain surgery for an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) left him with profound ...