An espresso with…
Pat Martino

Image Credits: © Y.Yoneda.

October 17, 2018

2018.09.27 Tokyo Cotton Club: JAZZ IS A WAY OF LIVING

It was my honour to interview Pat Martino and report his concert. Mr. Martino is a legendary guitarist, but for me he is more than a genius musician, he is a great philosopher and a warrior of life…

 > Eliza Wong; Photos by Y.Yoneda courtesy of COTTON CLUB, Japan.


If Jazz is a way of thinking, do you think jazz is a way of living too?

Yes, it is. For me, Jazz is constantly active, it’s live.  It’s about the sensitivity of each individual to focus on a specific moment itself and not trying to manipulate that to a moment that he or she prefers. See the reality and participate in it, and be as neutral as possible.

 

After the neural surgery, did you feel frustrated by having lost your ability to play guitar?

It’s a funny thing. Since my childhood, the instrument (guitar) was my favorite toy. My commitment was actually the joy itself, inot the career. A joy was given to me in grace and it remains.  After the initial side effect of the neural surgery, it erased everything. It left me blank. But I didn’t feel frustrated. I didn’t start (playing guitar) with an attitude, or an appetite for an ability. I started with curiosity. That’s like what I did when I was a child. I touched the strings and watchi and I saw a rainbow of colours. I found it interesting, the same feeling I felt whenI was a child. I started it all over again, and it (guitar) became a friend. It subdues all the stress. Music came back moment by moment. When the guitar re-entered. It took its place and it functions like all of the other implements that were there for me, a knife, a fork, a pen, a spoon, a piece of paper.

 

 

So music is like leaving bread crumbs in the brain?

Yes, it was, it became an issue, a priority of the moment.

 

Do you think “will power” is the most important talent in humans besides “joy”?

I do think “Will Power” is extremely important.  And “Commitment” has a great deal to do with this, and purpose. A person’s identity should be built with purpose. Will Power has a great deal to do with the longevity of that purpose, without purpose, it will decentered and become a second nature of a person’s identity.

 

 

What is your motivation?

The greatest motivation is to focus on “the moment”. My strongest priority is to be here now, not to succumb to the past or the future, the 2 things that are failed to exist.

 

Do you think “love” is an important element in recovering your music talent?

“Love” is the most powerful thing. I think “love” is essential. Love has many names. One of the name that I think of is “Christianity”.

 

What is your most joyful moment in your “second life”?

Yes, it was when I met my wife!

 

How do you keep healthy?

My wife is taking care of this, she makes sure that we have a healthy diet, natural food… and we grow our own vegetables too.

 

 

I saw your “Here & Now” video: you mentioned I-Ching, are you interested in Chinese philosophy?  Do you study a lot of philosophies? Any interesting discovery related to music these days?

Ha-ha, no I’m not. In fact, I think this is one of the most profound symbolism that I found in the 1960s. I was browsing this I-Ching book in the bookstore. I saw that Hexagram, but I didn’t relate it to philosophy, but I saw it more as a secret way to guitar. The symbols on the Hexagram are different divisions of 6 lines, that’s the guitar, the six strings! It gave me all the strings combination automatically. Originally, I wanted to rely on a teacher to lear these things to me, but the guitar revealed these concepts to me naturally. It was like a revelation.

 

Do you read a lot?

I did more in the past than I do now.  One of the books that I liked over the past years is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I found that is very compatible to the way I think and the way I have lived for decades.

 

What is your next project?

I have some originals that I have been enjoying playing personally for 2 decades. Finally, they are coming out with a full strings orchestra. I am very excited about this. I am basically a romantic, there will be a lot of ballads, it will be my finest moment.

 

What do you like most about Japan?

It’s very difficult to categorize with any specific country, I just enjoy the moment, each moment of my life, each moment of now.

 

You have been such an amazing creative force in music and art, and you are living through the analogue to digital age as a creative person, how do you see this change?

I think it’s wonderful. the technology. it’s extremely rejuvenating, in the sense of availability. I think it’s important to focus on what medium you want to use, how and what to use it for.

2018.09.27 Tokyo Cotton Club Concert

Pat Martino (G), Pat Branchi (Organist B3), Carmen Intorre (dr)

Throughout the concert, there was rarely a moment in which Mr. Martino talked, music is his language.

1. Impressions
2. In Your Own Sweet Way
3. Four On Six
4. Lament
5. The Island / Comecar de Novo
6. Mac Tough
7. Lean Years

 
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