In one of the most inspirational and bizarre tales in music history, Pat Martino experienced severe amnesia after undergoing surgery for a brain aneurysm in the early '80s. With no recollection of his career, the jazz guitarist could have viewed his blank slate as an opportunity for a personal renaissance. Instead, he retaught himself his craft by transcribing and analyzing his own recordings. In the 30 years since, countless other musicians have educated themselves by the same method, delving into Martino's skewed harmonic phrasing like it's the Gospel of Pat. The respect is justified: Martino is one of few jazz guitarists to transcend the instrument's inherent clunkiness and rise to a level of fluidity usually known only to trumpet players and saxophonists, all the while staying comfortably inside — and pushing — the boundaries of hard bop.
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