Pat Martino

I had heard of Pat Martino - but only his interesting life story. To quote Wikipedia

Martino was born Pat Azzara in South Philadelphia. He began playing professionally at age 15. Martino played and recorded early in his career with musicians such as Willis Jackson and Eric Kloss. He also worked with many jazz organists, such as Charles Earland, Jack McDuff, 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 any memory of the guitar and his musical career. With the help of friends, computers, and his old recordings, Martino made a recovery, and learned to play the guitar again.

Pat's second guitar career is interesting as he evolved a unique system for exploring the fretboard harmonically. You can read about Pat's playing at his site - I found particularly fascinating the Sacred Geometry / Simplifying the fretboard with Pat Martino article (available under Articles/Reviews or directly linked here).

A quick scan of Pat Martino videos on Youtube reveals mostly machine-gun fast Jazz lines and less of the Chord Melody stuff I'm interested in at the moment. His harmononic system is so frequently referenced, however, that I'm planning on visiting it once I finish Conti's stuff.