Pat Martino, Guitar, 1944, Philadelphia, PA.-
As a youngster Pat studied guitar with Dennis Sandole, one of the most prominent teachers on the East Coast. By the time he was in his mid teens he was playing professionally with Willis "Gator" Jackson and with Red Holloway. He later performed in several ensembles led by Don Patterson, Jimmy Smith, and Jack McDuff. He started to gain some fame while performing with John Handy's popular group. Around 1960 Pat began to lead groups of his own, with such sidemen as Richard Davis, and Billy Higgins. In the 1970s Martino developed an interest in the music of the classical composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Elliott Carter which probably influenced his future work. He suffered a seizure in 1980 and a brain aneurysm was discovered. An operation to correct the condition was successful, but it resulted in a temporary loss of memory, and he did not play professionally again until 1984. Although Pat has not been particularly influential as a guitatist, he has a strong reputation as a consistently tasteful improvisor with excellent technique. He has cited Johnny Smith and WesMontgomery as his principal influences. Along with the jazz-rock guitarists John McLaughlin, and Pat Metheny, Martino is also one of the few contemporary guitarists to employ the electric 12-string guita
Bob Crosby, Singer/Leader, 1913, Spokane, WA
After working with the bands of Anson Weeks and the Dorsey Brothers (1934-35), Bob became the leader of a co-op band composed largely of former Ben Pollack sidemen, along with new players recruited in New York. The orchestra's unique style of big-band dixieland jazz achieved a great deal of international popularity during the late '30s. Bob retained some star soloist, such as Eddie Miller, Nappy Lamare, Ray Bauduc and Bob Haggart, who was also a star of Bob's widely acclaimed small group, The Bobcats. Bob wasn't the best big-band vocalist, but his rhythmic phrasing did much to compensate. The group disbanded in 1942, and Crosby began appearing in Hollywood films. During WW II he served in the Marine Corps, leading a swinging band in the Pacific area. After his discharge he was mainly busy as a singer on radio and on television shows. Occasionally, Bob organized bands for reunions of the Bob Cats for special engagements. He continued to successfully lead these groups during the'70s and '80s. Bob Crosby died in 1993.