371

Pat Martino: Remember: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Pat Martino: Remember: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery The safest course of action on encountering a tribute album is usually to run like hell in the opposite direction. Which is why this beautiful album stayed unplayed for a couple of weeks before finally, thank God, finding the deck.

This recording is just lovely. If Wes Montgomery was alive today, this is almost certainly what he would sound like. But he isn't. It's what Pat Martino sounds like today, when revisiting his primary formative influence. And that's what validates Remember—as much a Martino album as a Montgomery one.

Take the opening three tracks, each of them iconic Montgomery—"Four On Six," the best-known track from his 1960 breakthrough album The Incredible Jazz Guitar, and the later title tracks "Groove Yard" and "Full House." Martino gets deep inside the spirit and groove of each original recording, but he invests the tunes with driving and soaringly lyrical solos which don't repeat a note of Montomery's own inventions and are absolutely his own. He does the same with that other signature track, "West Coast Blues," and indeed throughout the album.

Martino has a head start, of course, with his technique, which is formidable and grew out of Montgomery to start with. Martino cut his professional teeth playing in soul-jazz organ trios in the 1960s, building his style around Montgomery (and to a lesser extent Grant Green), and he recreates Montgomery's warm, rounded tone, virtuosic parallel-octave runs, chordal improvisations and measured grooves like he was born for them. That is no small achievement, especially given the fact that he literally had to reinvent himself after a brain aneurysm robbed him of his memory in the '70s.

Another important influence, frequently acknowledged by Martino, is the almost forgotten genius Johnny Smith, creator of the exquisite Moonlight In Vermont in 1952. Smith's advanced technical facility, astonishingly inventive voicings and lush melodicism also inform Martino's music. Combine them with Montgomery's legacy and you're close to kissing the sky.

Remember almost wholly ignores Montgomery's final, sweetened years on Verve, concentrating instead on his more muscular early-1960s Riverside period. Five of the tracks are Montgomery originals, five are tunes associated with him, and most inhabit that mid to fast-tempo, metronomic groove that Montgomery so relished. Pianist David Kikoski is his own man, but he evokes the funky lyricism of Montgomery's favourite Riverside-era pianist, Wynton Kelly. John Patitucci and Scott Allan Robinson keep the skillet greasy. Altogether gorgeous.

Track Listing: Four On Six; Groove Yard; Full House; Heartstrings; Twisted Blues; Road Song; West Coast Blues; S.K.J.; If I Should Lose You; Unit 7.

Personnel: Pat Martino: guitar; David Kikoski: piano; John Patitucci: bass; Scott Allan Robinson: drums; Daniel Sadowick: percussion.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Live In The South Bronx" CD/LP/Track Review Live In The South Bronx
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Live in Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Concert
by David Becker
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Little Steps" CD/LP/Track Review Little Steps
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "The Organ Grinder" CD/LP/Track Review The Organ Grinder
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: April 1, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!