John Patton (musician)

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John Patton
Born July 12, 1935 (1935-07-12)
Kansas City, Missouri
Died March 19, 2002 (2002-03-20)
Montclair, New Jersey
Nationality US
Other names Big John Patton
Occupation musician

John Patton (July 12, 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri – March 19, 2002 in Montclair, New Jersey), sometimes nicknamed Big John Patton, was a hard bop and soul jazz organist.[1]

After spending time with the Lloyd Price orchestra, he recorded extensively for Blue Note, and performed or collaborated with Grant Green, Lou Donaldson, and John Zorn. His music evolved to incorporate elements of modal and free jazz, without ever losing the basic, earthy groove that he brought to it from the beginning.

Biography[edit]

He wrote some classics and will be remembered fondly both by musicians and fans. His stellar work included "Funky Mama" and Along Came John. During the late 60s John recorded some very adventurous music for the Blue Note label with artists such as Harold Alexander and George Coleman on lps such as Understanding and Accent on the Blues. Of particular note on the early sessions recorded for Blue Note both under his own name and also with George Braith, Don Wilkerson and Lou Donaldson was the superlative empathy he developed with guitarist Grant Green and drummer Ben Dixon - an organ trio whose work in the soul jazz genre remains unsurpassed to this day.

Since the resurgence in interest in music from this period Blue Note has unearthed many sessions that lay in the vaults. LPs such as Blue John which was actually penciled for release by Blue Note and given a cover, but never saw a release at the time. This featured a strong line up with both Grant Green and George Braith (who on the LP is listed as Braithwaite) and recorded a very upbeat session. In addition Blue Note later released two fantastic (and forward looking) albums Boogaloo and Memphis New York Spirit saw the light of day and showed the world more of this exceptional artist's work from this period.

He continued recording until the late 1990s and his LPs (listed below) are well worth finding. In these later years he developed a loyal following in both Japan and Europe - which he toured to great acclaim. He also played live in the US and abroad to great acclaim with several dates having been recorded by collectors. Most recently George Braith issued Eagle Eye Blues on his own label. In 2001, Patton performed "Money Jungle" with Ron Carter and Black Star for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Indigo, a tribute to Duke Ellington, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]