Monday, July 25, 2011

Ah, Jazz as it Should Be!

I just listened to side one of jazz guitarist Pat Martino's 1972 recording, "Footprints," on vinyl and through a tube amplifier and courtesy of my old, steady, ready 1973 Pioneer turntable. Some high-level, noise-cancelling headphones gave me a more modern assist. The back cover was a long essay by the gifted jazz writer Gary Giddens on the life and art of Martino, plus his comments on each number on the album. I read as I listened. I purchased this recording for only $3.00 at a used record store in Denver.

The sound quality was superb: only one small pop, an immaculately clean and present acoustic bass, perfectly mixed drums, and two guitars. The music was jazz at its best: fine melodies, individual improvisation within a structure, and interplay between musicians.

There is a time--for me, call it today--simply to sit and listen to artistically excellent and acoustically brilliant jazz; and to thank the Giver of every good and perfect gift for it.


  1. First time I heard Martino was this album. After that, I was hooked for life. His phraseology is not only fluid but "long-suffering" offering lines that last for what seems like eternity.

  2. Yes, Pat is in a category by himself. And you must know the story of how he lost all his ability to play with a stroke, then re-taught himself guitar. He is now better than ever. I would relish seeing the man play live.

  3. Yes; knew about his story of memory loss and his rebound. Amazing. I see his itinerary shows him in Milan and Bologna, Italy during the time we're there on vacation. Hum.....may have to check with the wife on our itinerary adjustment!