Blue Note's roster of Hammond B3 organists was a vibrant and varied bunch that ran the stylistic gamut from Jimmy Smith's virtuosic innovations to Larry Young's horizon-expanding explorations. Kansas City-born dynamo Big John Patton operated in a soul jazz sweet spot throughout his stellar 1960s Blue Note tenure, always making sure each of his platters was served with a healthy helping of soul. Patton first appeared as a sideman on Lou Donaldson's albums The Natural Soul and Good Gracious and later cut his own Blue Note leader debut with 1963's Along Came John. Perhaps the most unique - and certainly one of the finest - albums in his discography is Let 'Em Roll, a fantastic 1965 session that found Patton altering the standard organ trio lineup of guitar (Grant Green) and drums (Otis Finch) by adding vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson into the mix (Green had used this same instrumentation to great effect on his album Street of Dreams the year prior). Highlights of the set include the Patton originals "Let 'Em Roll" and "Latona," a tender performance of the Johnny Mandel ballad "The Shadow of Your Smile," and a spirited romp through Hank Mobley's "The Turnaround."
The Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was' admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. Was brought Joe Harley, a.k.a. the "Tone Poet," on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels.
Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the jacket graphics and printing quality to superior LP mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180g audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology, Inc. Every aspect of these Tone Poet releases is done to the highest possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. This is IT.
This stereo Tone Poet Vinyl Edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Technology Inc. (RTI), and packaged in a deluxe gatefold tip-on jacket.
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.
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series
- Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Mastered from the Original Analog Tapes
- Produced by Joe Harley
- Pressed at RTI
- Deluxe Gatefold Tip-On Jacket
- Let 'Em Roll
- The Shadow of Your Smile
- The Turnaround
- One Step Ahead