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Remember - Tribute to Wes Montgomery

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Album Review

Pat Martino and Wes Montgomery were two of the most famous guitarists to emerge out of the '60s jazz scene, an era that saw the guitar raised to the status of saxophones and trumpets. Martino and Montgomery's styles, however, were quite different, one rapid-fire post-bop, the other blues-based hard bop. This doesn't mean, however, that Martino wasn't — like everyone else — influenced by Montgomery. Martino's Remember: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery, then, isn't so much an album that seeks to mimic the style of another guitarist, but a loving tribute that reflects without copying Montgomery's style. Yes, Martino does pull gems from the Montgomery catalog like "Four on Six" and "West Coast Blues," and he even references his use of octaves more than once, but this is more reflective than stylistic. Martino is joined on this outing by pianist David Kikoski, bassist John Patitucci, and percussionists Scott Allan Robinson and Daniel Sadownick for solid takes on Montgomery's "Road Song," Carl Perkins' "Groove Yard," and Sam Jones' "Unit Seven." While it might be revealing to compare these and other sides to Montgomery's recordings, it's probably more fun for listeners to just allow these reinterpreted recordings to wash over them. For Martino and Montgomery fans, and for anyone who loves good guitar music, Remember is a well-conceived and executed album. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


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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