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First Light

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Album Review

First Light continues a long line of excellent releases by the 32 Jazz label and Pat Martino. While neither Joyous Lake or Starbright merit the designation of "classic," the combination of both recordings on one budget-priced CD make two-fer an essential fusion recording. [First Light was reissued by Savoy Jazz in 2003.]

Customer Reviews

Joyous Lake: Pat's best band ever.

'Joyous Lake' has been out of print for quite a while now. Thank heaven it has been reissued as part of 'First Light'. Pat is at the top of his game here, but at the time 'Joyous Lake' was released, the band was the real news. At that time, Kenwood Dennard (drums) was at Berklee, and Delmar Brown (keyboards) was in NYC performing with cats like Hiram Bullock, Will Lee, Steve Jordan, The Brecker Brothers, Jaco and the rest of the 70's New York fusion jazz monsters. Together with Mark Leonard (bass) and Pat, Woody and Delmar (who had played together quite a bit in NYC at that point) broke new ground with their unique styles and expert technique. Brown's deep keyboard colorizations and Dennard's driving, complex and flawless drumming make this record truly unique, and one of the greatest fusion studio performances ever. Dennard (a former student of the great Elvin Jones) demonstrates his amazing ability here. I have heard people say that 'Joyous Lake' contains some of the best fusion drumming ever recorded. (Think Weckl, Chambers, White) Kenwood, Delmar and Mark were kids at the time 'Joyous Lake' was recorded. Hat's off to Pat Martino for recognizing young talent way back then. No wonder he had them "play it again" on 'Stone Blue'. If you like Pat Martino, fusion or great musicianship, then your collection needs to include 'First Light'.

M'Wandishi = greatest guitar solo EVER!

seriously - speaking as someone who has seen and listened to many jazz guitarist (and being one myself) >>> M'Wandishi is one of the greatest guitar solos ever!!!!!!!! sounds like a computer blowing up / like an alien with 5 hands shredding the craziest guitar licks!!!!


Born: August 25, 1944 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most original of the jazz-based guitarists to emerge in the 1960s, Pat Martino made a remarkable comeback after brain surgery in 1980 to correct an aneurysm caused him to lose his memory and completely forget how to play. It took years, but he regained his ability, partly by listening to his older records. Martino began playing professionally when he was 15. He worked early on with groups led by Willis Jackson, Red Holloway, and a series of organists, including Don Patterson, Jimmy Smith,...
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