John_patton-accent_on_blues_span3
September 1997

John Patton
Accent on the Blues
Blue Note Records

Seven of the ten tracks here were cut in 1969 by organist Patton, guitarist Blood Ulmer, drummer Leroy Williams and Marvin Cabell on tenor sax, saxcello and flute. During the final three tracks, two previously unreleased, Patton is joined by tenorman George Coleman. Patton didn't receive the attention in the '60s and '70s paid to Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Groove Holmes and Jimmy McGriff, but few B-3 players could approach him. His relaxed work, while always bluesy, was and is consistently fresh. His phrases may seem familiar, but aren't cliches. He's also got an excellent left hand, and really knows when to punctuate with it, and structures his solos lucidly. John composes well, too. His sophisticated tunes are, like his playing, deceptively simple.

Even at this early stage in his career Ulmer's impressive, displaying a strong Wes Montgomery influence while improvising inventively and with discipline. Coleman, in good form, plays rich, many-noted phrases. Like him, Cabell's been marked by John Coltrane. Although he doesn't have anything like Coleman's chops, Marvin's thoughtful playing is worth hearing.

Originally published in September 1997
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