Thursday, July 28, 2011

Circuses and Carnivals: Send in the Clowns

Pat Martino: Send in the Clowns


Send in the Clowns, now a jazz standard but originally a 1973 show tune by Stephen Sondheim, is a slow, regretful ballad. This guitar version by Pat Martino, one of my new favorite artists (and I can't believe this is the first I've posted by him!), brings out the most soulful, introspective nuances of the song.

Martino has an astounding musical history: a prominent guitarist by 1980, he suffered an aneurism followed by brain surgery that caused him to lose all memory of how to play guitar. Painstakingly, he relearned, regaining his former abilities the hard way. You'd be hard-pressed to hear the difference between his "before" and "after" recordings unless you looked at the date. This one is from 1976.

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