After his experience being actively involved with the early rock scene in Philadelphia, Martino moved to Harlem to immerse himself in the "soul jazz" played by Earland and others. Previously, he had "heard all of the white man's jazz. I never heard that other part of the culture," he remembers. The organ trio concept had a profound influence on Martino's rhythmic and harmonic approach and he remained in the idiom as a sideman, gigging with Jack McDuff and Don Patterson.
An icon before his eighteenth birthday, Pat was signed as a leader for Prestige Records when he was twenty. His seminal albums from this period include classics like Strings!, Desperado, El Hombre and Baiyina (The Clear Evidence), one of jazz's first successful ventures into psychedelia. Today, Martino lives in Philadelphia again and continues to grow as a musician. Musicians flock to his door for lessons, and he offers not only the benefits of his musical knowledge, but also the philosophical insights of a man who has faced and overcome enormous obstacles.