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!
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.
HE COMPLETE BLUE NOTE SESSIONS contains the previously released albums PREACH BROTHER (84107), ELDER DON (84121), and SHOUTIN' (84145). Includes liner notes by Dudley Williams, Joe Goldberg and Robert Levin. This is part of the Blue Note Limited Edition Connoisseur series. Don Wilkerson may not attract much attention – either now or when he was recording in the early '60s – but he was an interesting character. Like many tenor saxophonists of his era, the Texan followed in the hard-swinging soul-jazz that grew out of hard bop, but he didn't settle into an easy groove – he drove his music hard, injecting it with a healthy dose of the blues and an undercurrent of nascent black power. An intriguing mix, to be sure, and on three albums for Blue Note between 1962 and 1963 – Elder Don, Preach, Brother!, Shoutin' – he was at his peak, and they're all included here on this double-disc The Complete Blue Note Sessions.