Don Patterson

Patterson's People

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This organist's best review was also the title of his 1968 album, Boppin' and Burnin'. That is what Patterson does, whether launching into the standard plea to "Love Me with All Your Heart," setting off a brilliant version of an original composition -- here it would be the ballad "Theme for Dee" -- and even when embarking on a "Sentimental Journey." That last tune might set off waves of nausea if observed printed on a tray card, yet fear not: a trio in which Booker Ervin and Sonny Stitt alternate the front line role on tenor saxophone would really regard any sort of designated repertoire as a sort of magic screen, the kind characters pass through in fantasy films prior to entering another dimension. Stitt's original "42639" is named in honor of all the rhythm sections that have died trying to keep up with him; the math is questionable. Drummer Billy James is Patterson's sole assistant in what seems like the work of an army, fending off Stitt's shock and awe without benefit of armored protection. Then there is Ervin, a true Texan, preparing a rich barbecued chili featuring flank of a gazelle. The tempo on "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" should come with a warning sticker. Tracks from this session, originally released the same year as three other Patterson Prestige platters, was resissued as part of the label's Legends of Acid Jazz series. It's classic stuff.

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