Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
60

Pat Martino - Undeniable (2011)

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
Pat Martino
Pat Martino, along with George Benson, was the greatest jazz guitarist to spring from those righteous sounding organ trios of the 60s, and like Benson, Martino is still playing at a very, very high level. And, mixed in with some side excursions into other jazz forms, he's still playing that same brand of organ powered soul-jazz like he did back in his days with Jack McDuff and Willis Jackson.

A decade ago he showed what he was capable of doing in front of a live audience with a top shelf supporting cast (Joey DeFrancesco, Billy Hart) with his Live At Yoshi's release. With his long-awaited followup to 2006's Remember: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery, he does it again with Undeniable.

A 2009 engagement at Washington, D.C.'s Blues Alley, this set makes a even swap of organists and drummers: this time it's Tony Monaco and Jeff 'Tain' Watts, respectively. The “X" factor is the addition of another front line player in saxophonist Eric Alexander, a perfect choice given he is one of the few saxophonists of his generation to be heavily influenced by the more soulful saxophonists who came before Coltrane. Undeniable is very straight ahead, very blues-based and a very dazzling display of Martino's unmatched acumen as a bop guitarist.

With the exception of Thelonious Monk's “Round Midnight," it's all Martino compositions, with going back as far as his second album Strings! from 1967. On the former, Martino, with Monaco and Watts way in the back and Alexander sittin' out, caresses that melody in an inspired, sensitive way. The latter selection, “Lean Years," (Youtube below) swings with a confident ease more so than the original, and Martino pulls out the stops on his solo: a soul-scorching, sparkling display of fretwork that no one else can replicate.

Martino has also mastered the art of inserting little repeating patterns within a solo better than anyone, and the ones he does on “Goin' To A Meeting," “Double Play" and “Midnight Special" got the audience revved up in appreciation. Monaco brings a more tempered disposition to the organ than DeFrancesco and his bass lines are bang on, but he can bring the church when it's called for as he does for “Meeting." Watts displays yet another facet of his loaded skill set in this organ combo, working telepathically with Martino by subtlety controlling the cadence and tempo in a way that makes the guitarist sound even better. Alexander combines with Martino for snappy unison lines and his burly, buttery tenor makes a fine foil to those biting guitar lines.

By now, it should be pretty clear why this album is called Undeniable. Martino, at 67, is playing with the vitality and hunger he had at 27. Now as then, you can't deny the man's talent.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of Something Else!.
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Related Video

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Nexus by Victor L. Schermer
Live Reviews
New York Beat
What is Jazz?
Live Reviews
Rediscovery
Read more articles
Nexus
Nexus
HighNote Records
2016
buy
[no cover]
Alone Together
Blue Note
2012
buy
Undeniable
Undeniable
HighNote Records
2012
buy
Undeniable
Undeniable
HighNote Records
2011
buy
Pat Martino Quartet: Undeniable
Pat Martino Quartet:...
HighNote Records
2011
buy
[no cover]
Footprints / Exit
Blue Note
2010
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Kenny Burrell Kenny Burrell
guitar
Joe Pass Joe Pass
guitar
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Jimmy Smith Jimmy Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Barney Kessel Barney Kessel
guitar, electric
Jim Hall Jim Hall
guitar
Robben Ford Robben Ford
guitar
Larry Coryell Larry Coryell
guitar

Shop

News

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.