Pat Martino – Remember, a Tribute to Wes Montgomery – Blue Note

by | Sep 14, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Pat Martino – Remember; a Tribute to Wes Montgomery – Blue Note Records 11226,  66:13 ****:

(Pat Martino, guitar; David Kikoski, piano; John Patitucci, bass; Daniel Sadownick, percussion; Scott Allan Robinson, drums)

It’s clear Pat Martino loves and understands the music of Wes Montgomery. Having met the man himself and, as the liner notes state, “shared ideas” with him, Martino attempts to make an album that does justice to Montgomery’s warm tones and bluesy lyricism. Clearly trying to avoid sounding like another slick “tribute” album, Martino and co-producer Joseph A. Donofrio have taken pains to make the overall sound as warm and rich as a classic Blue Note album.

Remember showcases a lot of different sides of Montgomery, from the bop of Four on Six, which showcases the quick fingered bass of John Patitucci and the nimble runs of Martino, to the groovy melody of Road Song, which allows Martino to play a soft four chord melodic line as Patitucci and Scott Allan Robinson provide a tight rhythm backing.  On Milt Jackson’s Heartstrings, Martino plays slow and low, with David Kikoski tinkling the high notes to tug at what the song’s title alludes to. Martino and Co. also cover Jackson’s S.K.J, with its gorgeous descending line and light feel.

Certain tracks on Remember, like West Coast Blues and If I Should Lose You, lack personality, despite competent playing and energy from the group. If I Should Lose You begins with wonderfully delicate chords by Kikoski, creating a nice mood that’s interrupted by Martino’s big low tones.

Overall, Martino does a great job capturing the bluesy tones and easy lyricism of Montgomery’s playing, as well as picking Montgomery originals and covers that showcase the wide range of that genius self-taught player.  By making sure the album sounds like an album Montgomery might have made, Martino has made a tribute that deserves to sit beside the Montgomery CDs on your shelves.

Tracks: Four on Six, Groove Yard, Full House, Heartstrings, Twisted Blues, Road Songs, West Coast Blues, S.K.J., If I Should Lose You, Unit 7

– Jeff Krow

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