Category Archives: scullers

Pat Martino – Scullers 2nd Set

I almost forgot that we had tickets to Pat Martino, until Mr. Johnson rang me up to confirm a meeting time. 10 pm set on a Friday is risky due to the lack of sleep during the week, but we went anyway. I’m glad I did! It was the first time I’d seen him and I don’t think I ever listened to him too much, but obviously knew about him. He was playing his Benedetto signature model guitar, a solid body model with 2 pickups although he only used the front one.

Seating was general admission so we got a decent table a few “rows” back. It’s a small club anyway, so not a bad seat in the house. The classic trio consisted of Pat, Tony Monaco (B3 organ) and Jason Brown(drums).
When they started to play, it was kind of a shock because the guitar was really loud and muddy – I always wonder whether the sound person has lost their hearing because it is so obviously wrong. Would it hurt to add a little treble into the mix?
The music itself was great! They came out smokin’ with a boppish tune which I didn’t know, followed by a blues which he seemed to call on the fly to the organ player (ah, just found that blues on youtube here), and a latin-ish tune. I think Blue in Green was next, with many liberties taken with the melody, but the signature tune intact.
The odd part of the night came when Pat called up his wife, whom he is clearly smitten with, to play 2 Wes Montgomery inspired songs with him – Heartstrings and Bock to Bock (also on a Derek Trucks album, btw). She’s been playing “for a few years – 3 or 4, i think” and it looked like a student/master recital where the student plays some medium difficult chord changes while the master does his thing and makes it sound good….only in the first song, she couldn’t find the beat to save her life. I just tried to concentrate on what Pat was doing instead.
Thankfully, the band returned and they killed another Wes Montgomery tune: 4 on 6. Tony Monaco is a sight! His facial expressions are priceless and animated – you could read the emotions (mostly joy) in his face and clearly he was enjoying himself at the B3 – relishing in the cheesiest sounds possible, then laying out a monster dissonant chord for emphasis. This was a highlight of the night for me.
They finished the night with Oleo, but it didn’t seem like they were playing the standard thythm changes – I think it was more open than that (a la So What or Impressions) which gave the soloists more room to maneuver.
After the show, J somehow ran into Pat and shook his hand and gave him a few bows of worship. When we asked what his hand felt like, all he said was, “Boney.”