Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Black History Month-Don Patterson

Don Patterson(b.July 22,1936, Columbus, OH-d.May 1988)

Another great organist inspired my Jimmy Smith, I was first introduced to his music by Austin organist Michael Flanigin. He played a beautiful ballad, 'The Good Life', and I was blown away. Flanigin pointed me towards Patterson, who although dead by this time, his recordings on Prestige document much of his work. Patterson could play some beautiful ballads.

Listen to Don Patterson here, at Amazon....

...you can hear an excerpt of Patterson with sax player Booker Ervin performing 'The Good Life', along with other tunes, in particular 'Little Shannon' and Oleo which is a more jazz blues influenced tune that shows Patterson's other talent, his burning be bop lines that Earland called to 'typewriter music', according to Fallico.

Joey DeFrancesco also did a tribute album to Patterson, and does a spot-on recording of these and other Patterson tunes. Certainly DeFrancesco plays masterfully in the Patterson style, but in his own way. DeFrancesco has learned from masters such as Patterson, and this recording respectfully points to him.

As did some of the other organists we have discussed, Patterson also played with guitarist Pat Martino.

Patterson received his initial introduction to the Hammond organ by organist Hank Marr. Marr is still alive, having recently released a recording by his own trio. He also has made a career of playing with blues guitarist B.B. King.

Patterson also played with many other important jazz artists of his day. You may have gathered from these articles that even with the likes of Jimmy Smith, Larry Young and all these other great organists, jazz organ has sort of been considered kind of a step-child in jazz, much like the electric bass has been. The reason is because of the newness of the instrument. Continuing talent has continued to give jazz organ more respect within the jazz community and Patterson certainly gave his fair share.


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