Pat Martino Quartet | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Pat Martino Quartet 

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Pat Martino's new album, Remember: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery (Blue Note), is a throwback: the Philadelphia guitarist honors one of his earliest influences on the CD, replicating both the sound and style of the classic records Montgomery cut for Riverside in the early 60s. (Martino's unusually well equipped for such deep study of an artist--after an aneurysm robbed him of his memory in 1980 he relearned jazz guitar by listening to his own records.) Martino's playing echoes Montgomery's signature use of parallel octaves and the funky blues sound that marked his organ-trio work, but he's not afraid to shake things up: he accelerates the tempo on the opener, "Four on Six," and generally likes to fly through his improvisations, uncorking high-velocity runs that are alternately fluid and zigzagging. And the group sound on Remember is much denser than Montgomery's, with superb harmonic shadowing by pianist David Kikoski and pulsing lines by bassist John Patitucci. Martino's been active since the mid-60s, and though he's taken some ill-advised trips into psychedelia and fusion, blues-steeped hard bop and soul jazz is in his blood, and there might not be another player alive who can match his dexterity, rhythmic ease, and resonant tone. He's supported here by pianist Rich Germanson, bassist David Robaire, and drummer Scott Allan Robinson. Sat 6/3, 7 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, 773-728-6000 or 866-468-3401, $28, $24 seniors and kids. All ages.

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