by Curt_Anderson on November 2, 2021 11:01 pm
Here is another gifted guitarist who suffered a traumatic injury that would have ended most musical careers but didn't. His obituary appeared today.
Pat Martino, Jazz Guitarist Who Overcame Amnesia, Dies at 77
(NY Times)Pat Martino, whose trailblazing career as a jazz guitarist seemed to end prematurely in 1980 when brain surgery left him with no memory, but who then painstakingly relearned the instrument, and his own past, and went on to three more decades of innovative musicianship, died on Monday at his home in South Philadelphia. He was 77.
Mr. Martino’s playing began drawing attention when he was still a teenager.
In 1967, when he was in his early 20s, he released his first album, “El Hombre,” on the Prestige label, and a series of well-regarded records followed. At the start of his career he often drew comparisons to earlier jazz guitarists like Wes Montgomery, but by the 1970s he was forging his own sound.
A condition called arteriovenous malformation, a tangling of arteries and veins, was diagnosed. An aneurysm resulted in emergency surgery to remove a large tumor; when he awoke, he had no memory.
His parents helped him relearn his past, showing him family photographs and playing him his own albums. Picking up the guitar again was another form of memory recovery.
By the mid-1980s he was performing again. Jon Pareles, reviewing one performance, at Fat Tuesday’s in Manhattan in 1986, found Mr. Martino as virtuosic and unpredictable as ever.
by Donna on November 3, 2021 7:53 am
Interesting and inspiring story.