Jimmy Bruno: Pat's House
Jimmy Bruno (guitar)
Like That (Concord 4698)
Craig Thomas (bass), Steve Holloway (drums).
Composed by Jimmy Bruno.
Recorded: New York, NY, August 30-31, 1995
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
About 10 years younger than Pat Martino, Jimmy Bruno is the "other" virtuoso Philadelphia jazz guitarist, if not nearly as well-known as Pat. Bruno went on the road with the Buddy Rich Big Band at age 19, then worked in Las Vegas and on the West Coast, and has been a fixture on the Philly jazz scene since 1988. It's fitting that Martino wrote the liner notes for this CD, in which he calls Bruno "one of the most astounding players I've had the pleasure of knowing." Bruno in turn acknowledges Martino--both in the title and in his playing on it--with the original "Pat's House."
The track (and the entire CD, Like That) features Joey DeFrancesco, and could easily fool many listeners if surreptitiously inserted into the mix of Live at Yoshi's, Martino's celebrated collaboration with DeFrancesco that came several years after this Bruno encounter with the ebullient (also Philly-born) organist. Bruno usually doesn't sound this much like Martino, but a tribute is a tribute. The tension and darting intricacy of a Martino composition is omnipresent here, as introduced by Bruno's fleet fingers. DeFrancesco takes the first solo, a steamy, driven affair loaded with insistent recurring phrases, swirling extended lines, and stair-stepping progressions. Bruno replays the theme before entering his own propulsive solo. The guitarist exhibits brilliant technique and fiery emotion as he indulges in a blend of dense runs, strummed chords, and octave-dominated passages. After Holloway's energized drum statement, Bruno and DeFrancesco initiate a series of blistering, unreserved exchanges. This is one of Bruno's best recorded tracks--thanks for the inspiration, Pat!
Reviewer: Scott Albin