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Ben Paterson: For Once in My Life (Origin)

The jazz audience contains people, present company not necessarily excepted, who are resistant to the charms of the Hammond B-3. They find it a somewhat vulgar instrument, with unpleasant, artificial sonorities. They all need to meet Ben Paterson. He may be the most purely musical organist out there. He is not into shrieking and raising hell. He is not about sweat and grease. His virtues are ones not normally associated with the B-3, such as finesse and nuanced melodicism.

But he still swings his ass off. On tunes like “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” and “Blues for C.F.,” his trio with guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer George Fludas finds a subtle, wicked groove and stays there. Their graceful, sensuous glide sounds natural, not forced.

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Originally Published

Thomas Conrad

Thomas Conrad has a BA from the University of Utah and an MA from the University of Iowa (where he attended the Writers Workshop). He taught English at Central State University in Ohio, then left the academic world for the private sector. His affiliation with publications such as JazzTimes, Stereophile, The New York City Jazz Record and DownBeat has enabled him to sustain active involvement in two of his passions: music and writing.