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.
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, but never was, and 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.
Patton continued to release new recordings into the ’90s, including two on the Japanese label DIW. He passed away due to complications from diabetes and kidney malfunction on March 19, 2002, at the age of 66. ~ Richard S. Ginell & Al Campbell, All Music Guide
Edited by mozrulez on 10 Nov 2007, 14:49
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