Sonny Stitt / Don Patterson

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Brothers-4 Review

by Jim Todd

In September 1969, regular collaborators saxophonist Sonny Stitt and organist Don Patterson recorded together for the last time. For the occasion, they were joined by guitarist Grant Green, forming something of an organ combo supergroup. Patterson's excellent regular drummer Billy James rounded out the quartet. The ten tracks they made together -- four of them found on the original LP, six others added to later editions -- were not the crowning achievement for any of the principals, but they still stand in the front ranks of organ jazz. Three of the LP's tracks clock in at over eight minutes, providing lots of room for stretching out. Patterson's title track -- a classic, driving soul-jazz theme -- is the highlight. James' "Creepin' Home" moves along at a slacker, shuffling pace. Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band" surprisingly becomes a vehicle for impressive solos from the three lead players, once they get through stating the corny melody. The Burt Bacharach/Hal David pop ballad "Walk on By" also features good work from the quartet. [The six tunes not heard on the original LP eventually appeared on the Patterson LPs Donny Brook and Tune Up, then were rounded up here.]

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