Legenda Guitaris Vol3

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by Mark Humphrey by Mark Humphrey

Funny how unlikely couples get together. Take, for Funny how unlikely couples get together. Take, for instance, the guitar and jazz. The guitar, rooted instance, the guitar and jazz. The guitar, rooted some-where in Moorish Spain and Americanized as a ladies’ where in Moorish Spain and Americanized as a ladies’ parlor instrument or a cowboy’s companion, is not by parlor instrument or a cowboy’s companion, is not by its acoustic natu

its acoustic nature a convincing surrogatre a convincing surrogate horn. Je horn. J azazz,z, rooted in African polyrhythms and nurtured in rooted in African polyrhythms and nurtured in South-ern brass bands, is seemingly too raucously aggressive ern brass bands, is seemingly too raucously aggressive to keep company with a delicately-strung wooden box. to keep company with a delicately-strung wooden box. But leave it to imaginative musicians and instrument But leave it to imaginative musicians and instrument makers to find ways around such contradictions. If the makers to find ways around such contradictions. If the guitar was ever an anomaly in jazz it ceased to be long guitar was ever an anomaly in jazz it ceased to be long ago. C

ago. Can you even imagine the idiom without the guan you even imagine the idiom without the guitar’sitar’s voluble presence? A key player in the band would be voluble presence? A key player in the band would be missing.

missing.  The

 The six six memen n seseen en and and heheard ard in in ththis is videvideo o are are amamongong the most exemplary band members to choose the the most exemplary band members to choose the gui-tar as their means of expression. The initial inspiration tar as their means of expression. The initial inspiration for most of the

for most of them was Charlim was Charlie Ce Christian, who blazehristian, who blazed trailsd trails  jaz

 jazz z guitguitarisarists ts still still tretred d a a half half cencentutury ry latelaterr. . ChristiaChristiann swung in the direction of bop, and his disciples swung in the direction of bop, and his disciples (fore-most among whom are seen here) boldly carried the most among whom are seen here) boldly carried the guitar into that next phase of jazz. Aside from their guitar into that next phase of jazz. Aside from their fer-vor for the potential of the guitar in the evolution of j vor for the potential of the guitar in the evolution of jazzazz,, many of th

many of these ese artists have similar backartists have similar backgrounds: Sogrounds: South- uth-ern or Southwestuth-ern, and of roughly the same ern or Southwestern, and of roughly the same genera-tion. But their individuality is abundantly clear in tion. But their individuality is abundantly clear in per-formances ranging from meditative ballads to formances ranging from meditative ballads to speed-of-sound boppers. Underlying it all is an exhilarating of-sound boppers. Underlying it all is an exhilarating sense of triumph over that apparent oxymoron, jazz sense of triumph over that apparent oxymoron, jazz guitar. Having proven that the guitar is indeed a first guitar. Having proven that the guitar is indeed a first rate m

rate medium for jedium for jazz eazz expression, xpression, these athese artists crtists confidentlyonfidently address other contradictions, ones involving evolution address other contradictions, ones involving evolution within a well-grounded tradition. They’re serious about within a well-grounded tradition. They’re serious about the

their busiir business, but you ness, but you can see them having fun with it,can see them having fun with it, too.

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 This collection of performances opens with a George Bassman – Ned Washington ballad which was the theme of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. J im Hall, who played “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” for the BBC in 1964, told Guitar Player five years later: “I enjoy ballads, stan-dards. By standards, I mean I enjoy things with chord progressions more than ‘open free’ music. I also like medium swing tempos.”

A year older than 1932’s “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” Hall says he was “brought up in the Baptist Midwestern environment of Cleveland, Ohio.” He started playing guitar at age ten; like most jazz guitarists of his generation, Hall had a ‘Damascus road’ experience with Charlie Christian. “The first time I heard him I was 13 years old,” he told down beat’s Mitchell Seidel, “and it changed my life.” The performance that bowled Hall over was “Grand Slam.” Half a century later, Hall says Christian’s style “sounds old and brand-new at the same time.”

 Though determined to play jazz guitar, Hall says “Baptist guilt” drove him to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. “I was ac-tually being primed to become a music teacher or com-poser,” Hall told down beat’s Bill Milkowski, but the pros-pect of an exclusively academic life prompted him to drop out before attaining his master’s degree and head for Los Angeles. Still, Hall deems his formal training a plus: “I could read music fairly well for a guitar player,” he says (he wrote a string quartet as his thesis) . “When I was in music school,” Hall told Guitar Player’s J im Ferguson, “I heard everything from Gregorian chant to 12-tone and electronic music, which was pretty new back then. It opened my view of what music could be.” Hall arrived in Los Angeles in 1955 and simulta-neously studied classical guitar with Vicente Lopez while hanging out on the jazz scene. If Hall was initially un-sure of his direction, a work call from drummer Chico Hamilton changed that. Still, he insists his classical

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train-Hall told Seidel. “Part of that was try-ing to get a classical guitar sound out of  this instrument... My sound is a combina-tion of Charlie Chris-tian and classical guitar.”

Hall’s jazz bap-tism with Hamilton was followed by a challenging stint with saxophonist/ clarinetist J immy Guiffre (“It cost me a few hairs, but it was worth it,” he says) and work ac-companying the su-preme chanteuse of jazz, Ella Fitzgerald. “Playing with singers,” Hall told Norman Mongan, “gave me a sense of space, a way of placing notes in relation to the lyrics, which is quite different from accompanying another instrument.”The way Hall ‘breathes’ is heard to good effect in both “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and “My Funny Valentine.”

By the late 1950s, Hall’s services were in demand by such legends as tenor saxophonist Ben Webster and pianist Bill E vans. Hall considers his 1961 stint with tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins an exhilarating career high-light: “He inspired me more than any other musician I had played with up to then,” says Hall. Rollins is the composer of “Valse Hot,” which Hall performed for the BBC in 1964 as a member of the Art Farmer Quartet. With Farmer’s distinctive fluegelhorn to the fore, Hall, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete La Roca made a striking ensemble. (Swallow and La Roca accompa-nied Hall on “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You.”) His instrument in this group was a single pickup Gibson ES-175 which had previously belonged to Howard Roberts.

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“What I do best,” Hall has said, “is react to other musicians.” In 1965; he realized that drink was slowing his reactions, so he retired, got sober, and spent the next three and-a-half years in the house band of the Merv Griffin Show . “That always sounds like a confes-sion when I mention it now,” Hall quips of his televiconfes-sion  job. When the Griffin show moved from New York to California, Hall didn’t. He began performing with bass-ist Ron Carter and gradually worked his way back into doing what he loves most, playing jazz. Twenty two years after the BBC performances, we find Hall in Denmark for a rendition of the Rodgers and Hart classic, “My Funny Valentine” from the 1937 musical Babes in A rms.  J oining him is the extraordinary F rench pianist Michel Petrucciani, whose height (less than three feet) is no measure of his talent. Hall toured Europe with Petrucciani in 1986, and told down beat’s Bill Milkowski: “Michel’s such a wonderful player and makes it easy because he listens so hard and reacts so fast. To me, that’s really the gist of playing together. It all boils down to whether or not the guys listen to one another, and Michel does that very well.”

Hall has been called “the most romantic and subtle of the modern guitarists,” but he has also challenged himself in recent years by collaborating with such progressives as Bill F risell and J ohn Abercrombie. “These younger guys always inspire me, says Hall, whose first solo guitar album (Dedications & Inspirations,  Telarc) appeared in 1994. “I’m sure that it’s never over,” Hall told Mitchell Seidel, “at least it certainly isn’t for me. I practiced today already, and if I don’t, it’s like somebody stepped on my hand. That’s another one of  the beauties of it-that it goes on forever.”

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In 1973, Australian jazz promoter Kim Bonythan brought Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, and Charlie Byrd to Australia and New Zealand for a nine-concert tour. “The promoter wanted Herb and me to play the first part of  the concert, Charlie and his group the second, and all of us together for the finale,” K essel told Guitar Player’s Robert Yelin. “It was a lot of fun playing with them,” Byrd told Frets editor J im Hatlo, “and the audiences really responded to the way we were enjoying ourselves. So we decided to keep it going.” The tour launched The Great Guitars, a group which gave new meaning to the term ‘power trio.’ Drawing on a combined 90 years of  professional experience, The Great Guitars featured in-spired dialogues among three of jazz guitar’s most flu-ent voices.

 The most outspoken of these voices is Barney K essel. T he son of an immigrant Russian J ewish bootmaker, Kessel was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1923. He grew up hearing cowboy songs like “Rye Whiskey” and old hymns strummed on guitar. When he was 12, he bought a guitar complete with strings, a pick, and an instruction book for one dollar. Tutored by Charlie

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Keoube in a Federal Music Project of the WPA, Kessel received a three-month ‘crash course’ in guitar and music theory in 1935. Two years later, K essel was play-ing well enough to join an otherwise black jazz band. It was there he first heard the name Charlie Christian.

By the time he actually met Christian in 1940, Kessel had listened intently to that pioneer’s work with Benny Goodman and thoroughly absorbed Christian’s style. But the experience of jamming with his idol jarred him: “When I began improvising with Charlie Christian,” Kessel recalled, he had to ask himself, “What am I go-ing to play?” Kessel realized he would have to find his

own musical voice rather than merely mirror Christian’s. Experiences in a varied settings on the road (with the bands of Chico Marx, A rtie Shaw and Charlie Barnet) and in the studio (with the legendary likes of Lester  Young and Charlie Parker) went a long way toward earn-ing Kessel his own unique identity, one which bridged the sounds of swing and bebop. In 1952, he joined bass-ist Ray Brown and pianbass-ist Oscar Peterson in an influen-tial trio which spotlighted Kessel’s talents. But family concerns prompted Kessel to leave Peterson’s trio in 1953. Before departing, he recommended Herb Ellis for the job.

“We met 30 years ago at the Taft Hotel in New York City,” Ellis told Robert Yelin in 1974. “Barney had some trouble with his guitar, so he came to borrow mine. He was working with Artie Shaw then, and I was off from the J immy Dorsey band that night. From that first meet-ing we jammed, and we’ve been jammmeet-ing ever since.”

Beyond common musical passions, Ellis and Kessel shared similar beginnings in Southwestern small towns. For Ellis, it was Farmville, Texas, where he was born in 1921. “My mother tells me I always played the blues,” Ellis recalls. His interest in jazz blossomed at North Texas State College, where Ellis majored in music and eagerly explored Charlie Christian’s recordings with Benny Goodman’s Sextet. Both Ellis and Kessel cite the same formative influences: Christian, tenor saxophonist Lester  Young and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker.

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Kansas City was still a jazz Mecca when Ellis joined the Glen Gray’s Casa Loma Orchestra in the early 1940s. Praised in down beat and Metronome, E llis then moved up to J immy Dorsey’s Orchestra. After World War II, piano, guitar and bass trios were all the rage and for awhile Ellis became a third of the Soft Winds. It was a calm before the storm of Oscar Peterson’s frenetic tem-pos in the trio which Ellis joined at Kessel's departure in 1953. “Herb Ellis,” Peterson wrote in Lp sleeve notes, “demonstrates...that he is not only a talented soloist, but that he has complete control of his instrument, along with a capacity for invention at all tempos...” Consider-ing its source, that’s high praise indeed.

Following five exhilarating years with Peterson and bassist Ray Brown, Ellis left to work as accompanist to Ella Fitzgerald for a year. There were occasional ven-tures as leader, such as the highly-regarded Verve al-bum Nothing But the Blues, but Ellis spent much of the 1960s and part of the 1970s in studio orchestras for a succession of television variety-talk shows, including the Merv Griffin Show . Ellis has characterized the stu-dio musician’s life as “99% boredom, 1% absolute ter-ror,” but admits he occasionally found inspiring mate-rial in that role.

 The outstanding feature of E llis’ solos, writes jazz guitar historian Norman Mongan, is “an extraordinarily earthy quality...E llis is unbeatable where swing and drive are concerned; his is a style of classic modern simplic-ity.” E llis seemed to emphasize much the same point in discussing the empathy among Kessel, Byrd and him-self with Robert Yelin: “We all have a mutual respect and great feeling for swing,” he said. “Without even talk-ing about it among ourselves, swtalk-ing is the basis for our wanting to play the guitar.”

Charlie Byrd points to a slightly different impetus for taking up the instrument: “It was such a happy so-cial occasion to play music at my house,” he recalled in a 1967 Guitar Player, “I guess I just wanted to be in on it.” The house was in Chuckatuck, Virginia, where Byrd was born in 1925. His father and uncle played fin-gerstyle guitar and his father ran a country store where

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“the black blues pickers came in on Saturday nights to play and drink a few beers,” Byrd recalled to Frets edi-tor J im Hatlo. He “learned by listening and absorbing.” But the radio brought him another musical world: “Fred Waring had a radio program that Les Paul was on dur-ing the late 1930s,” Byrd told Hatlo, and, of course, there were Benny Goodman’s groups. Theirs was the music Byrd aspired to play, even though he was happy in his teens to pick country and folk tunes on radio stations in Newport News and Suffolk. (At 14, Byrd acquired a Sears Silvertone electric guitar and amplifier, the first such contraption heard in Chuckatuck!)

Like Kessel, Byrd got an early taste of the jazz life when, in his 14th summer, he played with a dance or-chestra from William and Mary College at the resort town of Virginia Beach. The precocious Byrd enrolled in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute at age 16 and played in the school dance band. During World War II, Byrd played in the Special Forces band in Europe. He also got a chance to sit in with Django Reinhardt before shipping home. That meeting, Byrd asserts, “decided me on a career in jazz.”

But he was sidetracked for a time by the lure of the classical guitar. Thanks in part to the G.I. Bill, Byrd stud-ied with Sophocles Papas and, in 1954, made a pilgrim-age to Siena, Italy to study with Segovia. The experi-ence offered Byrd the humbling insight that “I wasn’t really going to be a significant classical guitar player,” he told Hatlo. “I realized that it might be a better idea for me to use all my life’s experience, in jazz and popu-lar music as well, combining them with classical. So I started working out some jazz arrangements on classi-cal guitar, and I thought, ‘Someone might be interested in recording these.”’ Savoy Records was interested, and in 1956 Byrd’s J azz Recital album appeared.

A 1961 State Department-sponsored ‘goodwill’ tour of Latin America brought Byrd into contact with the sounds of bossa nova. The following year his collabora-tion with tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, J azz Samba, car-ried Brazil’s ‘new beat’ to the U.S. and became a

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charts!) “I guess that got me typecast a little more than I would have liked,” Byrd admitted 20 years later, but it was a strong validation of his move to explore jazz on the classical guitar.

Ironically, the ‘Great Guitar’ heard playing bossa nova on this collection isn’t Byrd but K essel who shows his confidence in an idiom generally associated with fin-gerstyle guitarists and nylon- strung guitars. His medley of Luiz Bonfa’s “Manha de Carnaval” and “Samba de Orfeu” is taken from the evocative score for the 1960 film, Black Orpheus. Accompanying Kessel on this 1969 date in Denmark are Larry Ridley, bass, and Don Lamond, drums .

A decade later, K essel and E llis teamed up on Iowa public television’s J azz A t The Maintenance Shop for a sassy sprint through George Gershwin’s “Oh! Lady Be Good,” a standard from the 1924 musical of the same name. The performance clearly reveals this duo’s roots in the Southwest, which gave the guitar world not only Charlie Christian but electric blues pioneer T–Bone Walker and Western Swing guitarist-arranger Eldon Shamblin of Bob Wills Texas Playboys. Kessel and Ellis seemingly return home here. Such performances in-spired Norman Mongan to observe that Ellis’ “South-western twang...powerful attack and ‘stringy’ tonality make constant reference to his Texas origins.”

Proving that great tunes often come from unlikely sources is the Bryson & Goldberg “F lintstones Theme” from the 1960s television cartoon series. Kessel and Ellis take a fiercely swinging romp through Bedrock ac-companied by J oe Byrd, bass, and Wayne Phillips, drums. This performance is from a ‘duo’ spotlight of   The Great Guitars captured in Cork, Ireland in 1980.

“What’s great about these concerts,” Ellis, the longtime television studio ace once said, “is that we’re playing duets for the public and getting paid for it.”

 Trios, too. Our collection’s finale features the full fleet of Great Guitars in a medley tribute to three earlier extraordinary guitarists. It opens with “Nuages,” the most popular composition of Django Reinhardt

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(1910-both the French and British ‘hit parades.’) In a 1976 Guitar Player tribute to Reinhardt, Kessel wrote: “He symbolizes the Gypsy spirit, the thing in everyone that wants to be free—to be an adult but not lose the child-like quality.”

“Goin’ Out of My Head” was a 1964 hit for Little Anthony & the Imperials which became a 1966 Grammy-winning vehicle for Wes Montgomery (1925-1968). It represents a phase of Montgomery’s career which brought him popular acclaim along with the disdain of  some jazz fans who felt he had sold out. In a 1972 Gui-tar Player discussion (‘Where Are the J azz GuiGui-tar Lps?’), Kessel remarked: “I remember talking with Wes Mont-gomery when he was playing in a packed club. He wasn’t bitter, just realistic. He said, ‘See those people out there?  They didn’t come to hear me, they came to see me play one, two or three of my hit records, because when I de-cide to do a tune of mine or Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps’ instead of ‘Goin’ Out My Head’ they get bored and start talking.’” Success for a jazz musician can be a mixed blessing.

 The medley closes with the Benny Goodman-Lionel Hampton composition “Flying Home,” long the theme of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and, in its early days, a showcase for Charlie Christian (1916-1942), without whom most of the music on this video is unthinkable.  The trio of Byrd (on an Ovation acoustic–electric), Kessel and Ellis (both playing Gibsons) gave this ex-hilarating 1980 performance in Cork, Ireland in the com-pany of bassist J oe Byrd and drummer Wayne Phillips. In a 1974 Guitar Player interview, Ellis gave away part of The Great Guitars’ game. “What’s particularly good about a trio,” Ellis explained to Robert Yelin, “is that the soloist can concentrate completely on his chorus...the other two guys will come in to take over the ensemble part while the soloist is thinking only about his solo.” Byrd summed up The Great Guitars experi-ence this way: “We have a great time,” he said, “and we enjoy each other’s company...We just love to go out there and swing for them. We couldn’t swing the way we do if  these concerts didn’t make us happy.”

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 T he stunn ing velocity and facility with which Tal Farlow, pianist Tommy Flana-gan and bassist Red Mitchell blaze through “Fascinating Rhythm” (a Gershwin tune from the 1924 musical, Oh! Lady Be Good) in Lorenzo DeStefano’s 1981 documentary,  Talmadge Farlow, is a  jaw-dropping study in abandon earned by years of woodshedd-ing. Farlow has only reluctantly left his woodshed in recent decades, and the rar-ity of his public ap-pearances has only enhanced his deserved reputation as a jazz genius.

 J im Hall has called Farlow “the most complete mu-sician I know on guitar,” and he’s not alone in that opin-ion. Farlow turned up the heat several notches on bop-era guitarists by his innovative work in the Red Norvo  Trio in the 1950s. “F arlow took the message of hard bop and translated it for the guitar,” writes Norman Mongan in The History of the Guitar in J azz. “Always inspired, he let ideas flow from under his fingers and creates a sound more akin to that of a wind instrument than a guitar.” Blowing at tempos few guitarists dare match, it wasn’t only for his large hands that Farlow earned the nickname the Octopus: he was seemingly everywhere on the fingerboard at once.

 Talmadge Holt F arlow was born in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1921. It’s often been said that he didn’t

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true. “I could already play the guitar a little bit,” Farlow told down beat reporter Lee J eske, “but the guitar was, in most cases, part of a hillbilly band—you know, with three chords.” The guitarist who made him think, “Now I’ve got an instrument here that can conceivably move out front” was, naturally, Charlie Christian. “Christian was the one who got me moving,” Farlow told Burt Korall (down beat February 22, 1979). “I bought all the Goodman–Christian recordings and memorized Charlie’s choruses, note-for-note, playing them on a secondhand fourteen dollar guitar and twenty dollar amplifier.” Work-ing as a sign painter in Greensboro, Farlow had few op-portunities to play with other jazz musicians. However, radio brought him the sounds not only of Charlie Chris-tian but of such innovators as Lester Young and pianist Art Tatum. Self-taught, Farlow had an innate sense of  the guitar’s potential by the time he found himself work-ing piano-bass guitar trios in Philadelphia durwork-ing World War II.

Pianist/ singer Dardanelle Breckenridge gave Farlow his first noteworthy job in 1947. It took him to New York City, where he heard Charlie Parker “giving off sparks, influencing every young player in sight,” Farlow told Korall. “At the beginning, I had some difficulty getting into what Bird and Diz and Miles and those fellows were doing...I found the bop phrases didn’t fall easily on the guitar. But I kept listening and working out my prob-lems until I felt comfortable with the modern idiom.” He worked so effectively in that idiom that vibes wizard Red Norvo hired Farlow in 1949. His work in Norvo’s Trio with bassist Charles Mingus is the stuff of legend. “I was no faster than the next guy until I went with Red,” F arlow told Korall. “I had to work like crazy just to keep up with Red and Mingus—they forced me into the wood-shed.”

After nearly five years with Norvo’s Trio, Farlow de-parted in 1953 for a stint with Artie Shaw’s last Gramercy Five. F arlow rejoined Norvo for awhile in a quintet, then fronted his own trio with pianist Eddie Costa. In 1958 Farlow left New York City and its jazz scene for a life of  anonymity in Sea Bright on the J ersey Shore. “I got fed

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up with the back stage parts of the jazz life,” Farlow ex-plained to K orall. “It seemed that I became increasingly involved with stuff that had nothing to do with music.” A country boy at heart, sign painting and occasional local gigs in Sea Bright suited Farlow. “I don’t have to be out there,” Farlow said, “dealing with situations I find difficult to handle. I don’t need expensive things or a hectic life. So I stay in Sea Bright.”

Starting in 1967, Farlow began making occasional forays “out there” – a reunion with Norvo on a 1969 Newport All-Stars tour and a Prestige album the same year, The Return of Tal Farlow, reminded the jazz world he was still a player of ferocious energy. Recordings for the Concord label in the 1970s brought Farlow further acclaim, and in 1981 he ventured out with Norvo and in the company of Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel. T he per-formance from that same year in this video affirms that Farlow at 60 was still in peak form.

For all his harmonic invention, Farlow never learned to read music, and felt self-conscious about that. His unease may have contributed to his retirement, particu-larly from recording. Asked in a 1969 Guitar Player for advice to aspiring jazz guitarists, F arlow said: “You have to really play all the time so that you are able to ex-ecute any ideas that come into your head. To be a jazz player, that’s important. After you learn the scales, to be a better jazz player, you should play more jazz and lots of it.”

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His father, once a pupil of Eddie Lang, told him at birth: “With these hands you are really going to learn to play guitar.” Instead of bullying his son into practice, he lured him to the guitar by forbidding him to touch the one hidden under his bed. “I was... a prodigy,” Martino told Guitar Player’s Vic Trigger. “When I was 11 years old I had about the same chops I have today...” By the time he was 16, he was accompanying such R&B stars as Lloyd Price and Chubby Checker. Six years later Martino’s debut album as a leader, El Hombre, made

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His punchy 1987 performance here of his composi-tion “Do You Have A Name?” in the company of bassist Harvie Swartz and drummer J oey Baron plainly shows why. “Mr. Martino,” wrote New York Times reviewer Pe-ter Watrous, “was among the few important jazz guitar-ists to arrive in the 1960s, somebody who understood the place of a blues sensibility in jazz and who could improvise with the fluency and drive of a horn player...” Born in Philadelphia in 1944, Pat Azzara took the name his father used as a singer, Martino, and paid his dues not only accompanying pop singers such as Frankie Avalon but jazzmen such as tenor saxophonist Willis  J ackson. For a child prodigy, it was a humbling dose of 

reality: “I was, for the first time in my life, reduced to being a subordinate,” Martino told Trigger. “I thought that once you had reached these incredible chops you were revered, literally revered...It required so much re-definition from me to survive that it brought me strength.”

Martino’s 1967 stint with the J ohn Handy Quintet thrust him into the spotlight; by the end of the 1960s he was fronting his own groups. Initially indebted to the influence of J ohnny Smith and Wes Montgomery, in the 1970s Martino’s music explored not only such familiar  jazz touchstones as the blues and bossa nova but also Indian music and modern compositional ideas inspired by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Elliott Carter. “I like to walk up to the guitar and throw myself into the middle of a creative experience,” said Martino, who did exactly that in the performance we see from Baltimore’s ‘Ethel’s Place.’

In 1976, Martino began suffering memory loss and headaches. A nightmarish four years of locked wards and shock treatments followed. Finally, it was discov-ered that Martino had a brain aneurysm; an operation to restore blood flow to his brain left him without his memory. Martino regained his brilliant skills by study-ing his old recordstudy-ings.

In a J anuary 25, 1995 New York Times review of a Bottom Line appearance, Martino’s first New York City outing in at least a decade, Peter Watrous wrote: “Mr.

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Martino proved himself to be as charismatic an impro-viser as ever.” In the Times only a couple of weeks later, Matt Resnicoff praised Martino’s “torrential, groove-driven melodies that seemed to stab at the listener from several directions at once.” Happily, Pat Martino’s back doing what he does best. “J azz,” Martino once reflected, “is a way of life, not an idiom of music. J azz is sponta-neous improvisation. If you ever walk out of your house with nowhere to go, just walking for the pleasure of it, you’ll find that you improvise. Everyone in life impro-vises; jazz is just a relative degree of improvisation.”

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1. J IM HALL(G),

STE VE SWALL OW(B) and PETE La ROCA (D) “J azz 625” September 26, 1964 London, England

Song: I’m Getting Sentimental Over You 2. BARNEY KESSEL(G),

LARRY RIDLE Y(B) and DON LA MOND (D) Newport A ll-Stars, Denmark 1969 Song: Medley Manha, De Carnaval

and Samba De Orfeu 3. TAL FARLOW (G),

 TO MMY F LA NA GAN ( P) and RED MITC HELL (B) New York City 1981

Song: Fascinating t Rhy thm

4. BARNE Y KE SSEL (G) and HERB ELL IS (G) “J azz At The Maintenance Shop”, Ames, Iowa 1979

Song: Oh Lady Be Good

5. J IM HALL ( G) and MICHEL PET RUCCIANI (P) Denmark 1986

Song: My Funny Valentine 6. PAT MARTINO (G),

HARVIE SWARTZ (B) and J OE Y BARON (D) “Ethel's Place” Baltimore, Maryland 1987

Song: Do You Have A Name

7. BARNEY K ESSE L (G), HERB ELLIS (G),  J OE BYRD (B) and WAYNE PHILLIPS (D)

 The Great Guitars In Cork, Ireland 1980 Song: Flintstone Theme

8. J IM HALL WITH THE ART FARMER QUARTE T ON “J azz 625” September 26, 1964 London, England

 J IM HAL L ( G), ART FARMER (F luegelhorn), STE VE SWALL OW(B) and PETE La ROCA (D)

Song: Valse Hot

9. BARNEY K ESSE L (G), HERB ELLIS (G), CHARLIE BYRD (G), J OE BYRD (B) and WAYNE PHILLIPS (D) .

 The Great Guitars In Cork, Ireland 1980.

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   B  a   r   n   e   y    K  e   s   s   e    l    &    H  e   r    b    E    l    l    i  s

 The guitar's odyssey in jazz is presented afresh in Vestapol's third compilation of prime performances from six of the idiom's movers and shakers. These men are among the most exemplary band mem-bers to choose the guitar as their means of expression. The initial inspiration for most of them was Charlie Christian, who blazed trails  jazz guitarists still tred a half century later. Christian swung in the

direction of bop, and his disciples (foremost among whom are seen here) boldly carried the guitar into that next phase of jazz. Aside from their fervor for the potential of the guitar in the evolution of jazz, many of these artists have similar backgrounds: Southern or South-western, and of roughly the same generation. But their individuality is abundantly clear in performances ranging from meditative ballads to speed-of-sound boppers. Underlying it all is an exhilarating sense of triumph over that apparent oxymoron, jazz guitar. Having proven that the guitar is indeed a first rate medium for jazz expression, these artists confidently address other contradictions, ones involving evo-lution within a well-grounded tradition. They’re serious about their business, but you can see them having fun with it, too.

1. JIM HALL I’m Getting Sentimental Over You 2. BARNEY  KESSELMedley: Manha De Carnaval & Samba De Orfeu 3. TAL FARLOW Fascinating Rhythm 4. BARNEY KESSEL & HERB

ELLISOh! Lady Be Good 5. JIM HALL My Funny Valentine 6. PAT MARTINODo You Have A Name 7. BARNEY KESSEL &

HERB ELLISFlintstones Theme 8. JIM HALL Valse Hot 9. BARNEY KESSEL, HERB ELLIS & CHARLIE BYRD Medley:

Nuages, Goin’ Out Of My Head & Flying Home

ISBN: 1-57940-916-4

Running Time: 63 minutes • B/W and Color Front & Back Photos by Tom Copi Nationally distributed by Rounder Records,

One Camp Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 Representation to M usic Stores by

Mel Bay Publications 2001 Vestapol Productions

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