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Jazz - Released January 1, 1986 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Big John Patton's second album, Blue John, was one of several '60s sessions the organist led for Blue Note that remained unissued until much later (in this case, 1986). Although the six selections are all straightforward soul-jazz, the results end up far more offbeat than one might expect. That's due largely to the presence of soprano sax/stritch player George Braith, one of the very few Rahsaan Roland Kirk disciples to master the art of playing multiple horns simultaneously. Braith is far and away the most distinctive element of Patton's quintet, which also includes trumpeter Tommy Turrentine and frequent Patton collaborators Grant Green on guitar and Ben Dixon on drums. While the grooving interplay between Patton, Green, and Dixon is as instinctive as ever, Braith's piercing, honking stabs are what really liven up the proceedings, giving Blue John a crazed sense of fun that makes it one of Patton's most infectious and enjoyable records. There may be something of a novelty element to Braith's playing, but bluesy, groove-centered soul-jazz rarely sounds this bright and exuberant, which is reason enough not to dismiss his contributions. Highlights include the opener, "Hot Sauce," one of Braith's signature compositions, and drummer Dixon's "Nicety." ~ Steve Huey
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released March 8, 1965 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Patton's fourth album for Blue Note. Big John Patton with Grant Green on guitar and Harold Vick on tenor sax. With tunes like "Fat Judy" and "Good Juice," there is no worry about there being a groove. The addition of a trumpet (Blue Mitchell) means you have a horn section, and this tends to be a little much now and again. Although a little on the light side, thanks to Patton and Green, the groove does go down. ~ Michael Erlewine
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Blue Note Records

By the time John Patton recorded Along Came John, his debut as a leader, he had already become a familiar name around the Blue Note studios. He, guitarist Grant Green, and drummer Ben Dixon had become the label's regular soul-jazz rhythm section, playing on sessions by Lou Donaldson, Don Wilkerson, and Harold Vick, among others. They had developed an intuitive, empathetic interplay that elevated many of their sessions to near-greatness, at least in the realm of soul-jazz. That's one of the reasons why Along Came John is so successful -- the three know each other so well that their grooves are totally natural, which makes them quite appealing. These original compositions may not all be memorable, but the band's interaction, improvisation, and solos are. Tenor saxophonists Fred Jackson and Harold Vick provide good support, as well, but the show belongs to Patton, Green, and Dixon, who once again prove they are one of the finest soul-jazz combos of their era. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Blue Note Records

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Pop - Released March 14, 2017 | Rarity Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Blue Note Records

Grant Green always brought out the best in Big John Patton. Almost any record that featured the guitarist and organist was dominated by their scintillating interplay, and it always sounded like they were trying to top each other's blistering, funky solos. Patton and Green rarely sounded better than they did on Got a Good Thing Goin', a 1966 session that functioned as a showcase for the pair's dynamic interaction and exciting, invigorating solos. In particular, the duo's mastery is evident because there are no horns to stand in the way -- only drummer Hugh Walker and conga player Richard Landrum provide support, leaving plenty of room for Green and Patton to run wild. All five numbers -- two originals by Patton and Green, two pop covers ("Ain't That Peculiar," "Shake"), and Duke Pearson's "Amanda" -- are simple blues and soul-jazz songs that provide ample space for the guitarist and organist to stretch out. And they do stretch out -- as a pair, they have never sounded so fiery or intoxicating. Fans of hard bop may find the songs a little too simple, but hot, up-tempo soul-jazz rarely comes any better than it does on Got a Good Thing Goin'. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released June 19, 1964 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

For his third album, Big John Patton decided to expand his band to quintet. Retaining the services of his longtime colleagues, guitarist Grant Green and drummer Ben Dixon, he hired tenor saxophonist Fred Jackson (who also played on Along Came John) and trumpeter Richard Williams. The combination of two horns can occasionally overshadow the groove Patton, Green, and Dixon lay down, but for the most part the musicians augment the music instead of detracting from it. Nevertheless, the combo never manages to match the peaks of Along Came John and Blue John. There are several fine moments on the record, and Green and Patton are typically enjoyable, but the record overall is a slight disappointment after its two predecessors. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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In an unusual setting for a groove/soul jazz setting, B3 organist extraordinaire big John Patton creates a band around himself that includes Grant Green, drummer Otis Finch, and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. It's truly weird to think of vibes on a groove date, but the way Patton's understated playing works, and the way Green is literally all things to all players, Hutcherson's role is not only a clearly defined one, but adds immeasurably to both depth and texture on this date. What also makes this possible is the symbiotic relationship between Patton and Green. There is a double groove conscious swing happening on every track here, from the bluesed-out slip and slide of the title track which opens the record to a killer version of Hank Mobley's "The Turnaround," which expands the blues vibe into solid soul territory because of Hutcherson's ability to play pianistically and slip into the funk groove whenever necessary. Green's deadly in his solo on the track, shimmering arpeggios through Patton's big fat chords and chunky hammering runs. Also notable are Patton's own tunes, the most beautiful of which is "Latona," a floating Latin number with a killer salsa rhythm in 6/8. As Patton vamps through the chorus, Green slips in one of his gnarliest solos ever. It begins with a groove like run in the hard bop blues and then shoves itself into overdrive, capturing the cold sweat of a Bola Sete or Wes Montgomery in his groove years. But when Green goes for the harmonic edges, all bets are off: Hutcherson lays out, and he and Patton go running to the bridge and bring the melody back just in time to take it out. This is one of the least appreciated of Patton's records, and there's no reason for it; it is great. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Blue Note Records

The main reason to purchase this previously unissued set from the late '60s is not for the rhythmic themes (which use fairly basic chord sequences) or even the solos of organist John Patton (who never does escape entirely from the shadow of Jimmy Smith), but for the somewhat out-of-place avant-garde outbursts by Harold Alexander (on tenor and flute) who often takes improvisations that go completely outside; his squeals on "Boogaloo Boogie" are a real surprise and he may very well be the reason that this music was not put out at the time. Otherwise this is a routine set of commercial late-'60s jazz/funk. ~ Scott Yanow