Listen to Long Plays during the 11 o’clock hour of The Nightside with Andy O’…these special extensive compositions needed a deeper listen.
Open Road (15:56) by Pat Martino from “We’ll Be Together Again” 1976
In his review on Allmusic, Alex Henderson notes that this is “The Philadelphia guitarist was also very much at the height of his creative powers — a fact that’s hard to miss on this excellent session… Martino’s lyricism was never more personal than it is on this album.” Bill Milkowski in JazzTimes stated “it highlights the guitarist at the peak of his interpretive powers… We’ll Be Together Again shows the guitarist’s tender side in a more subdued setting. It sustains a mood of beauty and passion that is positively spellbinding.”
All Blues (11:58) by Pat Martino from “Live at Yoshi’s” 2000
With Live at Yoshi’s, his 20th recording as a leader and third release for the Blue Note label, the legendary Pat Martino has come full circle. Accompanied by Joey DeFrancesco on Hammond B-3 and Billy Hart on drums, the hard bop and funky soul-jazz of this trio are sure to please enthusiasts of the guitar, organ, and drum trio.
On “All Blues,” a creative guitar voice plays the melody with soulful interpretations and subtle musical resonance. Martino‘s version of “Blue in Green” creates a world of melancholy and the guitarist plays his guitar with the same sweet sadness as Miles did with the support of DeFrancesco‘s organ solo adding additional shades of emotion. The songs selected for this “live” performance recording also appear on previously recorded Martino projects, including his 1970 Desperado album and his 1998 Stone Blue CD. However, listeners now receive the benefit of having the set performance available in real-time. From the sound of the audience on Live at Yoshi’s, the guitar sage’s head-spinning dexterity and cool tones on “Catch” are more spirited than ever, and after listening to this CD, you’ll be inclined to agree.
Review by Paula Edelstein from All Music
Consciousness (11:53) by Pat Martino from “Consciousness” 1974
“I’ve always had an individualistic relationship to the instrument, almost to a degree of isolation with it. This is a heady statement from guitarist Pat Martino and it seems obvious, coming from a player with such a discernable voice. But, on the other hand, Martino has been often assigned roles and cut facets that are at best limiting and at worst inaccurate. His relationship with Wes Montgomery is well-known but hardly defines him. Martino is dubbed a Philadelphia guitarist but made his career instead in New York City, having left the former at fifteen. His battle with a nearly fatal brain aneurysm is jazz lore, but he has been an active musician for a longer period after his recovery than before.
Yet Martino is ultimately unperturbed. His demeanor is remarkably focused, his appearance impeccable, his words measured and deliberate, all very much like his wonderful playing. Pat Martino has achieved the enviable state for a musician, or indeed for anybody, where he defines his work rather than it defining him.
The cover of Martino’s 1974 album Consciousness finds the guitarist seated in the middle of a pond, looking intently at the camera, almost past it. On the album are pieces by Coltrane and Martino as well as the Eric Kloss-penned title track. The name would be almost prophetic as, a few years later, Martino lost his ability to play after suffering a brain aneurysm. When asked the controversial question if he is frustrated to be defined by that event, Martino responds with typical zen: “It’s much easier to find compatibility with all walks of life and individuals in each of these confronting confrontations physical and psychological throughout life. And to be able to recover is something that we share together in general in terms of our species, under these conditions that we are confronted with in terms of crisis.
Long Play is a deep dive during the last hour of The Nightside into the music that time forgot.
Tune in to The Nightside with Andy O’ on Sunday night, November 14, from 8 to midnight.
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