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Ben Paterson: Live at Van Gelder's

Jack Bowers By

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Jazz organ trios have been with us for well over half a century now with not much change in nature or design. There are basically two explicit issues that any such band must address: has it chosen its material with care, and even more to the point, does it swing. Happily, organist Ben Paterson's tight-knit group scores quite well in both areas—and as a bonus, Paterson's trio was recorded for an audience (of thirty-five) at the late Rudy Van Gelder's legendary studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

While Paterson presides over the melodic aspects of the session, the all-important rhythmic component is in the capable hands of veteran guitarist Ed Cherry and drummer Jason Tiemann, neither of whom shies away from the task at hand. To the contrary, they give Paterson a durable runway from which to launch his athletic maneuvers, which he does without fear of collision. Cherry is a splendid soloist when called upon, and Tiemann has his moments too. As for the music, it was composed by an all-star lineup of jazz legends: Ray Brown, Wayne Shorter, Slide Hampton, Grant Green, Horace Silver, Jack McDuff, Benny Golson, Stanley Turrentine, Louie Bellson and Richard "Groove" Holmes (or Don Patterson, as "Sweatin'" is attributed to Holmes on the album jacket, Patterson in producer Cory Weeds' liner notes).

The trio opens with Brown's hard-swinging "F.S.R. (For Sonny Rollins)," the first of a number of lesser-known but no less pleasing tunes on the menu (such as Shorter's "Edda," Silver's "Enchantment," McDuff's "The Vibrator," Turrentine's "The Hustler" and Bellson's "Easy Time"). Hampton's "Frame for the Blues" is a jazz standard, as is Golson's "I Remember Clifford," while Green's "Green Jeans" is reprised more often than many of the others. "Edda," as it turns out, is a lively waltz, "Enchantment" a genial tango, "The Vibrator" a funky blues, "The Hustler" a fast-paced flag-waver, "Easy Time" a well-named old-school shuffle. That sets the stage for "Sweatin,'" whose enticing theme and seductive rhythms are an ideal way to ring down the curtain on a sharp and entertaining trio performance.

Track Listing: F.S.R. (For Sonny Rollins); Edda; Frame for the Blues; Green Jeans; Enchantment; The Vibrator; I Remember Clifford; The Hustler; Easy Time; Sweatin'.

Personnel: Ben Paterson: Hammond B3 Organ; Ed Cherry: Guitar; Jason Tiemann: drums.

Title: Live at Van Gelder's | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Cellar Live

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