Young Guns

Gene Ludwig
(HighNote)

Pat Martino, a multidimensional guitarist, came up in the 1960s, working with saxophonist Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson, then replacing George Benson in Brother Jack McDuff’s band. His early solo albums stretched past funk to more adventurous bop. One night in 1968-69, he appeared at Eddie Donaldson’s Shack, 118 W. Washington Street, Louisville. Fortunately captured on tape and now released, Martino, organist Gene Ludwig and drummer Randy Gelispie offer a varied program. Martino alternates between single-note runs and chords on the swinging opener, “Who Can I Turn To,” and burns on Coltrane’s “Mr. PC.” Milt Jackson’s uptempo blues “Sam Sack” is downright fun, while “Watch What Happens” and Wes Montgomery’s “Road Song” offer Latin stylings. Martino’s stunning closer, “Colossus,” is fast-paced, updated blues. Even within genres (blues, Latin, whatever), Martino’s soloing breaks boundaries, combining speed and feeling. More vault releases, please, Mr. Martino!