Two organ/sax cookers back to back – both featuring Don Patterson and Sonny Stitt! First up is the wonderful album Brothers 4 – a mighty pairing of organist Patterson and saxman Stitt – one of Don's grooviest late 60s outings, thanks to an excellent sound from all players involved! Stitt plays Varitone sax on the date, which gives his horn a cool electric feel that really sounds wonderful next to Don's work on Hammond – and Grant Green's also in the group, serving up some great single-line solos that are almost more in his early 60s style than his Blue Note work from this same period. The group's rounded out by Don's regular drummer Billy James – a wonderful player with a great ear for unusual rhythms!
Don Patterson (1936-1988) wasn't the most distinctive organist to follow on the heels of Jimmy Smith's success. But, like Larry Young and Shirley Scott who also played piano first, Patterson was undoubtedly one of the more melodic and lyrical of organ practitioners. What's more, while his more popular peers ventured into soul jazz, funk and pop, Patterson stayed firmly rooted within the bop tradition. He recorded a whopping 15 albums for Prestige between 1964 and 1969, then recorded only five more for the Muse label until his final 1978 album, recorded a decade before his death.
This release presents two complete original albums showcasing Sonny Stitt in a quartet setting with organist Don Patterson: Low Flame (Jazzland JLP971; 1962) and Feelin's (Roost LPS2247; 1962). On the two LPs, the group is completed by Paul Weeden on guitar and Billy James on drums. While Stitt and Patterson cut plenty of albums together, the sessions included here mark the entire recorded output by this exact quartet.
According to prevailing modern jazz wisdom, when one locked horns with altoist-tenor player Sonny Stitt (1924-1982), one had to be armed to the teeth with licks. Booker Ervin (1930-1970), whose tenor saxophone cry was among the most urgent sounds of the post-to-free-bop era, was solely on the basis of that sound, more than equal to the task of jamming with Stitt. Backed expertly by organist Don Patterson (1936-1988), who had worked extensively with Stitt, Soul People (which also includes a previously unreleased Patterson feature, the mellow bossa reading of “There Will Never Be Another You”) is a consistently rewarding set.
Don McLean’s final album for United Artists was a musical tour de force, and the best self-contained account of the full breadth of McLean’s talent. Recorded live in England, in Manchester, Bristol, London, and Oxford, the 26 songs encompassed not only the artist’s best-known work, but also many of his personal favorites, among them works by other composers (including Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”).