Sometimes it's best not to predict. If the idea of expanding Fire!'s core trio of saxophonist/electric pianist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werlin into Fire! Orchestra's massive, 28-piece behemoth was based on the trio's extant discography— You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago (Rune Grammofon, 2009), Unreleased (Rune Grammofon, 2011), and In the Mouth of a Hand Rune Grammofon, 2012)—then a relentless album of high energy and high volume density would be expected. Which makes Exit! a complete and utter surprise, and in the best possible way.
This LP gave listeners a good sampling of mid-1970s Pat Martino. The distinctive yet flexible guitarist teams up with Gil Goldstein (who sticks here to acoustic piano), the great bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Billy Hart. Martino plays more standards than usual (four out of six songs, including "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Blue Bossa"), and, of his two originals, "Three Base Hit" has the spirit and fire of bop. An excellent outing.
These are the exact same blueprints Walter Bergeron used to engineer his own $10 million dollar payday when he sold his business for top dollar – and now he doesn’t have to work another single day for the rest of his life.
Jacqueline Audry usually approached her text with great reverence, but here she was revisionist to the point of destruction. Quite why screenwriter Pierre Laroche felt it necessary to emasculate Jean-Paul Sartre's existential masterpiece remains a mystery. Yet it's plain to see what a disservice his decision to add extra characters and incorporate other-worldly flashbacks does to the relentless intensity of the original drama, in which a recently deceased trio discover the bitter truth that “hell is other people”. However, Arletty imparts some much-needed class as the ageing lesbian desperately trying to dissuade flirty Gaby Sylvia from hitting on homosexual Frank Villard.