Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A great and gritty guitar album
Ian K. Hughes | San Mateo, CA | 07/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After pulling "DESPERADO" from the bottom of a buried pile of CD's in my closet, I was reminded that this particular album is one my favorite Pat Martino recordings. In truth, every album Pat has ever made has a whole lot of fantastic playing but this one has some real unusual characteristics. He isn't playing his standard semi-hollow body jazz guitar but a 12-string electric guitar that produces a somewhat "grungy" and unique sound, which is perfectly in keeping with the "bar band" feeling his group gives off. The only real bop tune Pat plays is "Oleo". Other than that, he concentrates on five self-penned tunes showing the influence of the (then, c. 1970 ) fairly recent modal jazz-rock being played by Miles Davis. Compositionally, "Portrait of Diana" is a really moving ballad; probably the greatest tune Pat ever wrote. I recommend skipping the first track ( "Blackjack" ), as it's by far the weakest cut. Better to try out tracks 4-6 to get a flavor of what this album's really about.As for the playing, Pat's incredibly fluent and asymmetrical bop lines ( and they ALWAYS swing! ) are linked with a very strong feeling for the blues ( of the jazz variety ) he grew up with in his native Philadelphia, where he had a reputation as a prodigy during the mid sixties. With Pat's great guitar playing combined with the garage band spontaneity, "DESPERADO" will perhaps be of interest to fans of Charlie Hunter or other "acid jazz" musicians. Fans of the "post-Wes" jazz guitar tradition ( George Benson, Jack Wilkins, et al ) will definitely appreciate it. While this album certainly can't compete on an artistic scale with the very best of say, Wes Montgomery or John McLaughlin ( to name two of the preeminent MUSICIANS who happen to be guitarists ), it is nonetheless the product of a very talented and dedicated musician operating at a level way beyond what most of us mere mortals can hope to achieve. P.S. If you like "DESPERADO", I'd also recommend Pat's playing in concert ( 1972 ), reissued on "HEAD AND HEART" ( 32 Jazz Records ). This CD also includes studio recordings from 1974, which amounts to a bargain as BOTH are included on one CD. This will provide, for those who want it, a contrast to the down-and-dirty grunginess of "DESPERADO"."
Thick 12 string Jazz guitar playing on all pistons
TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 08/24/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know if McLaughlin influenced this guy or he influenced McLaughlin and Larry Coryell or it was a mutual influence or what, all these cats living in and around the New York scene at the time, but aside from McLaughlin and Coryell, Martino is the fastest, most technically adept Jazz guitar player of this late '60s period. Imagine someone with the technique of what Mike Stern has today back in 1969 playing on a 12 string with a somewhat funky band that is just about to enter fusion territory but is still very much in the Miles Davis "Files de Kilimanjaro" mode rather than "Bitches Brew," and you have yourself a good picture of what "Desperado" is all about. The two most smokin' tunes "BlackJack," and "Oleo" are ABSOLUTE MUSTS in any jazz guitar afficionado's collection, they are flat-out classics, and the moody, progressive title track points the way to a more mellow Jazz-rock sound that Martino was to perfect in the '70s."