Thursday, May 22, 2003

Review - Got a Good Thing Goin'

Artist: Big John Patton

Posted on Thu, May 22, 2003 at 4:00 AM

This 1966 session -- swingin' cover and all -- found Patton at the height of his organ groove. And he knew it, based on the album's title. Along with Richard "Groove" Holmes and Jimmy Smith, Patton formalized the organ as a jazz instrument, rather than a stripper's accompaniment, and his skill at both groove-mongering and funky improvisation helped define the sound of Blue Note soul-jazz in the mid- to late-'60s. Despite the fact that this long out-of-print gem (along with the still out-of-print "Oh Baby") is one of my favorite Patton albums, its pleasures are subtle. Working with the familiar foil of Grant Green's guitar-playing, there's little that's different from any of Patton's other groove sessions of the era. Yet, whether it's the fluid skittering of his fingers on the keys during "The Yodel" or a laid-back romp through Sam Cooke's "The Shake," Patton again emphatically reiterated his mastery of both his instrument and his groove.

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