Sonny Stitt & Don Patterson: Brothers 4
The material for the date is pretty much par for the course for Stitt and Patterson, mimicking the kind of blues and boogaloo fare that was their usual repast. Easy, highly melodic blowing vehicles taken at tempos and time lengths that allow for plenty of congenial interplay and solos. James takes his usual place as rhythmic tinderbox lighting fires under his partners in a variety of subtly creative ways. Green does what seems like a lot of comping in the ensemble sections of the tunes, but his frequent solos are still brimming with perspicacious verve. His lengthy solo on the unlikely jazz number “Alexander’s Ragtime Bang” delivers a generous example of his patented, repetitive, single note picking style, while his protracted musing on “Mud Turtle” shows a mellow, but no less inventive side.
A particularly bluesy reading of Burt Bacharach’s “Walk On By” sets the lights low and rolls out a grooving lounge vibe that the players languish in. James sets up a shuffling go-go beat for “Donny Brook” and Green gets down and funky in response above the staccato comping of Patterson’s fluid fingers. Stitt gleans inspiration by his band mates and uncorks a solo steeped in buttery phrases. Rounding the track out the organist lets loose with a spiraling summary that deals in tight descending melodic flourishes and legato retorts soaked in pedal sustain. As mentioned, Stitt and Patterson were frequent confreres so there’s a lot to choose from in their joint catalog. But this final date for Prestige is a fitting summation of the level of quality musical collaboration they were able to nurture in each other’s company.
Prestige on the web: http://www.fantasyjazz.com
Track Listing: Brothers 4/ Creepin
Personnel: Sonny Stitt- tenor saxophone (Varitone), alto saxophone*; Don Patterson- organ; Grant Green- guitar; Billy James- drums. Recorded: September 15, 1969, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Record Label: Prestige Records