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Big John Patton – Let Em Roll (1965/2016) [Qobuz 24-192]

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Big John Patton – Let ‘Em Roll (1965/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 39:57 minutes | 1,66 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records
Recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 11, 1965

Right in time for Jazz Appreciation Month the Blue Note LP series continues on with five new titles. During the Blue Note 75th anniversary celebration the label released 100 essential Blue Note LPs and asked New York Times readers what titles they’d like to see make the list. Five new reissues were hand-selected by Blue Note President, Don Was, based on New York Times reader recommendations including Big John Patton’s Let ‘Em Roll.

This soulful and groovy 1965 Blue Note effort from the famed Hammond B-3 organist finds him matching creative wits with fellow jazz greats like Grant Green (guitar), Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone) and Otis Finch (drums), and running down an upbeat six-track stunner of a set comprised of four of his own originals and well-suited takes on the standard “The Shadow of Your Smile” and Hank Mobley’s “The Turnaround.”

In an unusual setting for a groove/soul jazz setting, B3 organist extraordinaire big John Patton creates a band around himself that includes Grant Green, drummer Otis Finch, and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. It’s truly weird to think of vibes on a groove date, but the way Patton’s understated playing works, and the way Green is literally all things to all players, Hutcherson’s role is not only a clearly defined one, but adds immeasurably to both depth and texture on this date. What also makes this possible is the symbiotic relationship between Patton and Green. There is a double groove conscious swing happening on every track here, from the bluesed-out slip and slide of the title track which opens the record to a killer version of Hank Mobley’s “The Turnaround,” which expands the blues vibe into solid soul territory because of Hutcherson’s ability to play pianistically and slip into the funk groove whenever necessary. Green’s deadly in his solo on the track, shimmering arpeggios through Patton’s big fat chords and chunky hammering runs. Also notable are Patton’s own tunes, the most beautiful of which is “Latona,” a floating Latin number with a killer salsa rhythm in 6/8. As Patton vamps through the chorus, Green slips in one of his gnarliest solos ever. It begins with a groove like run in the hard bop blues and then shoves itself into overdrive, capturing the cold sweat of a Bola Sete or Wes Montgomery in his groove years. But when Green goes for the harmonic edges, all bets are off: Hutcherson lays out, and he and Patton go running to the bridge and bring the melody back just in time to take it out. This is one of the least appreciated of Patton’s records, and there’s no reason for it; it is great. ~~ AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

Tracklist:
1 Let ‘Em Roll 6:40
2 Latona 7:20
3 The Shadow Of Your Smile 6:50
4 The Turnaround 6:45
5 Jakey 5:30
6 One Step Ahead 6:50

Personnel:
“Big” John Patton, organ
Bobby Hutcherson, vibes
Grant Green, guitar
Otis Finch, drums

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