Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Pat Martino 1944 - 2021


Recommended Posts

The death has been announced of Pat Martino, truly one of the very greatest jazz guitar players of the last 50 (or more) years.  He was 77.

R.I.P.  and thank you forever Pat, for your music and inspiration.

He had been ill for some years and recently had a major operation; unfortunately despite even this (amazing he survived) it was only a matter of time, and he had been unable to play while recuperating.

Many will know that Pat Martino also suffered a life-threatening aneurysm in 1980, and had to basically re-learn how to play.  It is an extraordinary story; he retained quite a lot of muscle memory, so he could still more or less physically do it and gradually fought his way back.  Most of his recordings - both before and after this event - display quite incredible technical fluency and an unique modern jazz guitar voice.  At times he used very heavy strings, a 0.15 or 0.16 on the top E was quite normal for him.  And as we all know, in his later years he was a Gibson Signature artist too.

His solo on "Sunny" (1972) is a good introduction; easy to follow, generates a tremendous head of steam and shows what he was doing nightly in his first prime.


Safe journey Pat.


Edited by jdgm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Whitefang said:

Man,  what a bummer!  

So, did that aneurysm  40 years ago play into his cause of death, or some other related complication?  Regardless....

For a talent like that even 77 is way too young.

Rest In Peace , Pat.


Chronic Respiratory disorder; he was on oxygen 24 hrs a day for the last 2 years.  He had been a life-long smoker and I believe the recent operation was actually a double lung transplant, which for someone in their 70s is obviously a last resort.  


His final signature guitar was/is a Benedetto -


Edited by jdgm
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pat had a veinous malformation in his left temporal lobe and had a seizure that caused a lot of damage.

I had some seizures eight years ago in that lobe and had to "relearn" some guitar stuff.   Just mostly just getting the timing back between my two hands, my eyes and ears.  For instance, after I had the seizures, there was a 1/4 second lag from when I saw my wife talking and when I heard her.  I had vertigo for a couple years.  Very disorienting and disturbing.

I forgot lots of names of stuff and stumbled a little on some nouns.  Playing the guitar made me sick to my stomach but ended up being excellent physical therapy to get my brain back in shape.  The only plus about having the seizures is that my reaction speed is absolutely unbelievable now.  Every time I drop something I catch it before it hits the floor.  Sometimes I catch stuff before I let it go.  It's really unbelievable.  And my right hand timing is way better than it was before.  So I got that going for me...

Kudos to him for thriving after that.

It's funny how he said he never wanted to go on vacation, he was just happy doing what he was doing.  That's exactly how I feel.  I wouldn't take a vacation if you paid me $10,000.  Funny.  Maybe it's some kind of PTSD thing.

Edited by badbluesplayer
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites


It's one of those times when you have to be grateful it all happened, not sad because it has stopped.  He has left a wonderful recorded legacy.

You MUST hear this, the opener from his fusion LP "Joyous Lake" - listen to him go! 


And this short 2010 clip (dig the Marshall cab!)  should whet your appetite.  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...