Eldar, Pat Martino an inspired musical match

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 14:14

The jazz guitar legend and former San Diego piano phenom play here Thursday

By George Varga | utsandiego.com

The 2009 death of electric guitar icon Les Paul can be credited with inspiring the first duo performance by jazz guitar master Pat Martino and former San Diego piano phenom Eldar. In late 2009, the two teamed up for a tribute gig at Iridium, the New York jazz club where Paul had performed almost every Monday for more than 12 years.

The fact that Martino is 42 years older than Eldar, who turned 25 in January, also inspired the duo’s 2010 concerts as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Generations in Jazz Festival” in New York.

On Thursday night, Martino and Eldar (who does not use his last name, Djangirov, professionally) perform here at downtown’s all-ages Anthology. The date is part of a two-city, three-show West Coast tour that marks their most extensive road trip together thus far. Eldar’s most recent performances here were last month with the San Diego Symphony and singer Jennifer Holliday.

“Pat tours a lot, and I tour a lot, so our collaborations only happen when we’re both off the road at the same time,” Eldar, a 2005 graduate of San Diego’s Francis Parker High School, said from New York.

Martino and Eldar are both dazzling performers whose remarkable technical prowess is balanced by their impeccable musical taste and soulful delivery. Both celebrate and extend the traditions of jazz on a nightly basis. And both relish spontaneous instrumental interactions, which require listening as intently as they play.

“Some of the tunes are pretty free and organic, and others are more or less arranged,” said Eldar, who was only 17 when he was signed by Sony, the world’s largest record company.

“We play original compositions, such as Pat’s ‘The Great Stream,’ and standards, including (Bud Powell’s) ‘In Walked Bud,’ (Thelonious Monk’s) ‘Round Midnight’ and (Wes Montgomery’s) ‘Twisted Blues.’ Playing with Pat, you always have to be on your toes. This has been a great and very satisfying experience for me, and I think we’ll keep playing together a few times each year.”


Pat Martino and Eldar

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22

Where: Anthology, 1337 India Street, downtown

Tickets: $10-$44

Phone: (619) 595-0300

Online: anthologysd.com


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Via utsandiego.com