So the other day when I was listening to Hammond Heroes one of the tracks that I really liked was the Pat Martino Trio’s performance of “Oleo” After listening, I went and looked for the album that the track was on and I found it on Martino’s album Live at Yoshi’s. Live at Yoshi’s was released in 2001 a little over 20 years after Martino had brain surgery as a result of a nearly fatal brain aneurysm. The surgery left him with amnesia, that wiped out his memories of his career and how to play guitar!! With the help of friends and his old records he was able to learn to play again. An amazing story, that I had no clue about!!
Back to “Oleo”. Again the other day when I was writing about Gary Burton playing “Bags’ Groove” I went to look at the Miles Davis album of the same title. When I looked at the tracks on the album, there was “Oleo” it was track 4! “Oleo” is a Sonny Rollins composition and it has appeared on several of Miles’ recordings including
….1956 on Relaxin’. A live version recorded in 1958, with John Coltrane instead of Rollins on saxophone, appears on two separate Davis albums: 1958 Miles, which was released in late 1958, and the same recording appears again on Davis’ 1973 release, Jazz at the Plaza. from Wikipedia
Many other artists have recorded the song including: Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy, Lee Konitz, Jeff Sipe, Larry Coryell, and Pat Martino!
The other thing that was amazing about Bags’ Groove was the line-up of musicians that played on the album. The musicians included:Miles Davis – trumpet, Sonny Rollins – tenor saxophone, Horace Silver – piano, Percy Heath – bass Kenny Clarke – drums and on Bags Groove , Milt Jackson played vibes and Thelonious MonK played piano!! Wow!
Once again, it’s time to get back to “Oleo” and this time let’s listen to the Pat Martino Trio play “Oleo” and while you watch Pat Martino just think what it would be like to have to teach yourself to play like that all over again!!! You can read some more about “Oleo” here at Jazz Standards.com