Don Patterson


Dem New York Dues

  • Release Date: 10 Apr 1995
  • PRCD-24149-2

While he never received the deserved acclaim at the time. Don Patterson (1936-1988) made as impressive a series of recordings during the 1960s as any jazz organist. In addition to the uncommonly wide dynamic range Patterson employed and his imaginative choice of material, he also had a knack for working with strong soloists. On this pair of inspired sessions, he begins by hosting Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook, the front-line team of Horace Silver’s classic quintet, plus guitar wizard Pa… MORE


Don Patterson was an experienced pianist before he took up the organ. Inspired to learn to play the Hammond B-3 after hearing Jimmy Smith, he… More



Don Patterson (1936-1988) was one of a strong generation of swinging organists who emerged after Jimmy Smith’s initial triumphs. It is a measure of his playing abilities that Sonny Stitt always considered him his favorite organist.

Patterson was originally a pianist influenced by Erroll Garner but, after hearing Smith in 1956, he switched to organ, playing professionally three years later. In addition to Stitt, Patterson worked with Gene Ammons, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, and Eric Kloss plus his own duos (often with drummer Billy James) and trios.

After making his debut recording as a leader for Cadet in 1963, Patterson recorded many albums for Prestige during 1964-1969. Four CDs reissue some of his most rewarding dates. Legends of Acid Jazz contains a session that teams Patterson with the passionate tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin while Legends of Acid Jazz: Just Friends has the complete contents of a different date with Ervin and one with the soulful tenor playing of Houston Person.

Boppin’ & Burnin’ is a straight-ahead outing with trumpeter Howard McGhee, altoist Charles McPherson, guitarist Pat Martino, and Billy James that shows off Patterson’s “piano approach” to playing organ on such numbers as “Sandu” and “Red Top.” Dem New York Dues reissues most of the two LPs Funk You and Oh, Happy Day! from 1968-1969, featuring a quintet with trumpeter Virgil Jones and tenors George Coleman and Houston Person, and a set that was the only meeting on record by altoists Sonny Stitt and Charles McPherson.

Don Patterson worked in his later years with trombonist Al Grey before his 1988 death.