Two for Tuesday: Pat Martino

Pat Martino was born Pat Azzara in Philadelphia. He moved to New Yotk when he was 15 and began playing professionally with such musicians as Willis Jackson, Eric Kloss, and organist Jack McDuff. He was a bandleader and sideman throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. In 1980, he sufered a near-fatal brain aneurysm that left him with amnesia, including how to play the guitar and many details of his musical career, but he managed to come back and in 1987 released his comeback album, The Return.

Pat has done many instructional books and videos, many of which describe his “Convert to Minor” method of improvisation. He says that it’s less an improvisation method and more a way he sees and organizes the fingerboard. You can find a number of his videos on these subjects on YouTube; if you have any knowledge of guitar, they’re well worth checking out.

Here’s The Pat Martino Trio (Pat on guitar, Joey DeFrancesco on organ, and Byron Landham on drums) with a couple of videos from Umbria Jazz Festival #9, taken on January 1, 2002. The first performance is of Pat’s tune “Oleo,” and the second is “Sunny,” with John Scofield sitting in on guitar.

Pat Martino, your Two for Tuesday, December 9, 2014.