Pat Martino excited the jazz community with his exciting reentry into the scene in 1987 with his live recording, The Return. He surprised more than a few by demonstrating such impressive taste and technique, almost as if he had never lost the ability to play the guitar due to a severe brain aneurysm. Perhaps almost as surprising was his disappearance once again from the public eye (due to his parents' illnesses), until he reemerged with this recording in 1994. Here, Martino is teamed with pianist James Ridl, whom he happened upon in a Philadelphia club. Martino was so impressed and inspired that he invited the pianist to form a musical partnership. The results of the pairing are immediately obvious, as Ridl's relaxed and sensitive style subtly encourages Martino to take his time and use more space, probably the only legitimate criticism that was ever heaped in Martino's direction. The quartet is rounded out by bassist extraordinaire Marc Johnson and longtime Martino favorite and former bandmate Sherman Ferguson on drums. The set here is a mixture of ballads and a few mid-tempo hard bop/post-bop numbers. While the temperature is not nearly as hot as his earlier work, the overall results prove to be more seasoned and mature sounding than anything he has ever recorded before. Fortunately, this recording was the first of many during the '90s, thanks to an entirely new generation discovering the genius of Pat Martino.
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AllMusic Review by Robert Taylor