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Here and Now! The Autobiography of Pat Martino Hardcover – October 25, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

PAT MARTINO is an acclaimed guitarist, composer, and bandleader whose staggering artistic output since the mid-1960s for the Prestige, Muse, Warner Bros. and Blue Note labels ranks him among the premier players of his instrument. Struck down at the peak of his popularity in 1980 by a life-threatening brain aneurysm, he has made a remarkable recovery and in recent years has returned to his former glory as one of the greatest guitar players. BILL MILKOWSKI has been covering the jazz and blues scene since 1974. He is a regular contributor to Jazz Times and Absolute Sound magazines and his work has appeared in Guitar Player, Bass Player, Drum!, Modern Drummer, Jazziz, DownBeat, and Jazzthing. He is also the author of Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius (Backbeat Books).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617130273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617130274
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pat Martino has given us a real treasure here: a sharp, detailed glimpse into a fascinating life lived during one of the golden eras of American music. Who but Pat Martino could write a memoir that effortlessly moves from discussions of Zen and expanded consciousness to street descriptions of Harlem in the mid-60s?

Martino is something rare among musicians, in that he is both an intellectual giant and a sensualist. His lines are simultaneously incredibly sophisticated, but also sweaty and gut-wrenching. Both sides of Martino are on display in this memoir as he discusses the existential crisis that confronted him after his brain surgery in 1979, but also the rich memories of his childhood in Philadelphia.

One of the most striking points he makes is that jazz, particularly the soul jazz of his youth, was an outgrowth of a particular environment. For Martino, the music was inseparable from the people, clubs, drinks, even the cooking of Harlem. He suggests it's futile for students at places like Berklee to try and mimic the jazz of that era, when they've never experienced the sights, sounds and smells that gave birth to it. When I find myself listening to recent music school grads who never seem to connect with the audience, despite flawless technique, I have to think Martino is on to something.

As a guitarist I've tried for years to mimic Martino's style. After reading this book I see how misguided that effort is. Besides having a dazzling musical mind, his playing is also the product of a unique time and place in jazz history that is gone forever. This very special book offers a glimpse into that world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read the entire book!

It enlightens but gently disappoints to some degree.

This book reveals Pat's personal history through a series of interviews in which Pat describes/discusses:

. The nearly fatal aneurysm that could have robbed the world of one if its greatest citizens

. His relationship with his parents

. His relationship with his wives (It was really a pleasure to read about Ayako... In front of every great man, there is a great Woman!)

. What it was like growing up in South Philly

. The various musicians that Pat had the opportunity to apprentice with early in his career.

. The inevitable comparison between Pat and George Benson! It is really interesting to read what the other guitarist who are interviewed have to say about this subject!

. Pat's sacred geometry system

Lastly, I would have wished that the author would have delved into all of the guitars/amps/setups that Pat has used over his career to create that fluid sound he's associated with.

Also, the discography listed at the back of the book doesn't mention the Bobby Pierce session in which Pat plays as a sideman.

This is a worthy read for any true admirer of Pat Martino.

However, by books end, you are left with the feeling the author could have given us a little bit more!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I decided to treat myself to this book for Christmas and it arrived in the post Christmas eve, it was an ideal time to read it during the holidays. Pat Martino has long been one of my favourite players and after reviewing his latest "live" CD "Undeniable" it confirmed to me that he is one of last of the great players who learned their craft playing in clubs for years. He takes you though his early career and recordings and how his father Mickey was such a big influence on getting his career started. He recalls little gems like Joe Pass phoning him and asking him to replace him in George Shearing's group in l967 and his subsequent touring with Shearing. Also his guitar teacher Dennis Sandole recommending he change his picking technique to avoid breaking strings, this didn't work and Pat ended up using heavy strings to avoid this problem and thus created his sound. His brain aneurysm in l980, his recovery and return are fully covered. There are many testimonies from top players including Carlos Santana, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Larry Coryell, Bill Frisell, Russell Malone, Kevin Eubanks, Chuck Loeb, fareed Haque, Paul Bollenback, Vic Juris, Adam Rogers, Sheryl Bailey, Lee Ritenour, Peter Bernstein, George Benson and many others. Pat is revered more than most by his peers and his story is one of great inspiration from his beginnings in jazz guitar to his return from the brink of despair due to health problems. He is today playing better than ever and this is evident on his new CD "Undeniable" . This is a highly recomended book of an artist we may never see the likes of again.
Ian Macgregor The Jazz Guitar Society of Western Australia Newsletter
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm only 30 pages in but I have to say this is one of the more fascinating reads ever. Pat is certainly one of the
most brilliant individuals you'd meet and it shows in his writing. He states some facts about the situation he's in and then adds an intellectual observation that is just wonderful. I'm hanging on every word. This book is great even if you haven't heard his music. Pat offers great detailed insight into what its like to be a jazz musician in the 60's...and a skinny 17 year old white kid prodigy at that. This is an excellent book.
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