Pat Martino (born August 25, 1944) is an Italian-American jazz guitarist and composer within the post-bop, fusion, mainstream jazz, soul jazz and hard bop idioms.
Martino was born Pat Azzara in South Philadelphia. He began playing professionally at the age of 15 after moving to New York City. Martino played and recorded early in his career with musicians such as Willis Jackson and Eric Kloss. He also worked with jazz organists, including Charles Earland, Jack McDuff, Tony Monaco, Trudy Pitts, Jimmy Smith, Gene Ludwig, Don Patterson, Richard "Groove" Holmes. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Martino made many recordings as a sideman and also under his own name.
In 1980, Martino underwent surgery as the result of a nearly fatal brain aneurysm. The surgery left him with amnesia, leaving him, among other things, without some memory of the guitar and his musical career. With the help of friends, computers, and his old recordings, he made a recovery, and learned to play the guitar again.
His improvisation method, "Conversion to Minor", is often mistakenly thought to be based upon using exclusively minor systems for soloing. In fact, the system involves conceptualising chord progressions in terms of the relative minor chord/scale, but in practice this seems to be more a way for organising the fretboard, rather than justifying playing certain tones in terms of whether they are "correct" or not. Martino's lines contain chromatic notes outside any particular IIm7 chord that might be conceptualised over a chord progression; even in the examples he provides in his books and instructional videos. Indeed, on his bulletin board he has stated that he formulated the system more as a way to explain his playing, rather than as something to use to create music. In his own words, "although the analysis of some of my recorded solos have been referred to as modal, personally I’ve never operated in that way. I’ve always depended upon my own melodic instinct, instead of scale like formulas".
The 1987 recording The Return marked Martino's return to music. In 2006, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab reissued his album East! on Ultradisc UHR SACD. Martino tours worldwide. He was awarded 2004 Guitar Player of the Year, Down Beat magazine's 2004 Reader's Poll.
Martino's album Undeniable: Live at Blues Alley(Highnote Records) was released on October 11, 2011, and hit No. 1 on the jazz charts in mid-November. The next Highnote Pat Martino release, Alone Together with Bobby Rose was released on August 14, 2012.
Pat's newest CD We Are Together Again with Gil Goldstein on Warner Japan released April 2013-. Fanart Banner