Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pat Martino - Think Tank

Guitarist Pat Martino has tempered his serpentine, machine-gun improvisational style over the years into a soft-focus graph-paper approach that lies somewhere between Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. His playing, at once mathematically dense and puritanical in its economy, can impress with long bursts of harmonic complexity and stylistic flourishes that cross rockabilly-esque chicken scratch with ECM-style repetition. Unfortunately, for all his harmonic panache, Martino never really commands the swing on the cerebral, blues-tinged, and ultimately disappointing Think Tank. Similar to his bandmate here, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, Martino floats over the rhythm section, dancing around the groove but never coupling with it. The result leaves drummer Lewis Nash flailing ineffectually as if to fill up space. Worse, bassist Christian McBride, largely renowned for his muscular and swinging approach, simply coasts along, his acoustic double bass over-miked into a slack drone. That said, the title track is an intriguing scientific theorem of a tune that Martino built out of the letters in John Coltrane's name. Even more engaging is the ballad "Sun on My Hands," in which pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Martino delicately play off each other in a kind of plaintive call and response that brings to mind Martino's dusky, reflective 1976 album We'll Be Together Again. Think Tank isn't a bad album ; it just contains a few too many ideas that probably sounded better in theory than they do in practice.
Matt Collar

Source :

Pat Martino
Think Tank


1 The Phineas Trane (Mabern)  6:40
2 Think Tank (Martino)  12:09
3 Dozen Down (Martino)  7:56
4 Sun on My Hands (Ridl)  9:19
5 Africa (Coltrane)  11:44
6 Quatessence (Martino)  9:59
7 Before You Ask (Martino)  6:53
8 Earthlings (Ford)  5:33


Pat Martino - g
Joe Lovano - ts
Gonzalo Rubalcaba - p
Christian McBride - b
Lewis Nash - dr

Recorded at Sony Studios, New York City ; January 8-10, 2003.


archer said...

...a soft-focus graph-paper approach that lies somewhere between Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell

this normally would be enough to have me dismiss this. not fond of most of the work of metheny or frisell, but what a lineup on this date. got to check it, therefore.

the first recording i heard of martino's i loved; "desperado". the next that i came across was "joyous lake". totally different. i was very disappointed.

much gratitude

archer said...

well, very glad i checked this. very nice. and as to the metheny comparison? oh, please. the playing is much more soulful, the tone is darker, and the main difference is that martino doesn't run his guitar through multiple devices in an attempt to ensure his guitar sounds like anything but a guitar. in fact, when i read the comparison this is the direction i feared martino had taken.

Crimhead420 said...

Thank you.

Dragan said...

Hey mate, ssonyy here,,, thanks for all albums.... if you need something unlimit from ssonyy or one by one from bagger,,, thx again

ZM-JazzRock said...

Mel and Friends,
Despite the review from Matt Collar, and Archer's point-of-view, we need to take into account that this is an album recorded on the 00's (2002 if I'm not wrong). Of course it sounds different from other Pat's works like "Desperado" and "Joyous Lake" (both masterpieces - IMHO).
The lineup on this album includes Joe Lovano, that is one pf the most inventive jazz musicians today, and is recognized by his contribution to modern jazz (regardless what "modern" could means in this context), and Gonzalo Rubacalba, one of the most influential living pianists. Given that, what else we can expect from "THINK THANK"? To be simplist and objective: nothing less than a milestone on good contemporary jazz music.
In time: Metheny and Frisell are other of my favorite guitar players. It's true that Metheny had experimented the "Orchestrion", but this is a minor 'mistake' on a brilliant career.
I hope our friend Archer could give another chances to Martino, Frisell and Metheny. They had produced much of the good music from the last 30 years.
Regards from Brazil!
-- zm

Melanchthon said...

jose arboleda said...

muchas gracias.

squalo said...

Very curious to hear this incredible line-up. Thank you Mel.

fcapeau said...

This one was missing ! A big thank you

Unknown said...

Link is dead. Actually all the Martino links I checked (for 4 albums) are dead.