Pat Martino has never ceased to amaze, and his 20th album as a leader, recorded live from world-famous Yoshi's, is no less amazing than you would expect. After all, the prime setting for Martino since his earliest recordings has been in trio configuration, and when joined by fellow Philly native Joey DeFrancesco, and drummer Billy Hart, the product is sheer energy and brilliance.
This powerful 8-song set could only be exceeded by front row seats, as the energy put forth by Martino and crew is seemingly unstoppable. Opening with the essential tune Oleo, Martino comes out guns blazing with his trademark minor 7th-tinged fiery bop lines, opening the door for powerful interaction and equally remarkable efforts from DeFrancesco and Hart. The CD boasts a series of compositions from his illustrious career carefully selected for this special group.
We are frequently reminded that Martino was the victim of a near-fatal brain aneurysm in 1980, which caused a loss of memory than included all of his knowledge and ability to play his instrument; some even go as far as citing his post-trauma work since 1984 as 'new' Martino work. Truth is, this session boasts the same flair and fire that are characteristic of the 70's sessions that put Pat on the map as a force in his own right. It's got the fire, the zeal, and no one can give these classic tunes a new flair like Pat can.
For Martino fans, for jazz fans, and for anyone who needs some good arse-kicking, this disc is a must have.