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John Patton sessions of July 11, 1963 and August 2, 1963


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Many of you will know that John Patton's album, "Blue John", recorded on July 11, 1963 and August 2, 1963, was reissued as a Japanese CD (UCCQ-5008) in 2014 with 5 previously unissued tracks. The CD also contained SHM (and lanolin, ha ha). The new tracks were listed as "rejected", which again calls into question the use of that term: the whole planned LP was rejected at the time; there is a rather sad-looking picture of a Plastylite test pressing of the LP on the Discogs site. One track, "Extension", is not on the 2014 CD and it seems that the only reason for its omission is simply lack of space. I have changed the listing to "unissued".

The excellent Blue Note Discography site does not include the 2014 CD and has errors in the listing of the instruments that George Braith plays on the August 2 session, as well as two song title errors, so I have sent the listing below to the website. The 2014 CD incorrectly lists "I Miss You So" as "I Need You So". The correct name was given to me in an email from Michael Cuscuna.

i like to hear tracks in chronological order, so I made up a CDr of each of the two sessions. I "faked" the first session by adding "Extension" from Braith's 1964 album of the same name. It fits in seamlessly, because it has B3, drums and Grant Green.

Here is the corrected listing

'Big' John Patton Quintet

Tommy Turrentine, trumpet #1-4; George Braith, soprano sax, stritch #1-4; John Patton, organ; Grant Green, guitar;

Ben Dixon, drums.

Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 11, 1963

1. tk.3      Blue John           Blue Note BST 84143, Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
2. tk.14    Nicety                                          -
3. tk.15    Jean De Fleur    Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
4. tk.27    Extension                     unissued
5. tk.32    I Miss You So     Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008

* Blue Note BST 84143   'Big' John Patton  "Blue John" - 1986
= Blue Note CDP 7 84143 2 - 1989
Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008 - 2014

'Big' John Patton Quartet

George Braith, soprano sax #1,2,5,6, stritch, except #4; John Patton, organ;
Grant Green, guitar; Ben Dixon, drums.

Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 2, 1963

1. tk.16    Hot Sauce                      Blue Note BST 84143, Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
2. tk.20    Bermuda Clay House                                    -
3. tk.26    Chunky Cheeks             Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
4. tk.29    Davene                                             -
5. tk.34    Dem Dirty Dues            Blue Note BST 84143, Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
6. tk.36    Country Girl                                               -
7. tk.45    Untitled Patton Tune    Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008
8. tk.62    Kinda Slick                                        -

* Blue Note BST 84143   'Big' John Patton  "Blue John" - 1986
= Blue Note CDP 7 84143 2  - 1989
Blue Note (J) UCCQ-5008 - 2014

I don't think there is anything earth-shattering here. "Hot Sauce" in the highlight, for me, because Patton holds a note in Jimmy Smith fashion at the climax. I prefer the session with the trumpet because it adds brightness not provided by the saxophones. George Braith's use of simultaneous soprano saxophone and "stritch" (an almost straight alto saxophone, made by Büscher, I think) reminds me of an electric power tool sanding wood, and his solo sound is rather dull. But I did buy his three Blue Note albums, which appeared in the Japanese .Blue Note Works series.

Edited by Shrdlu
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I thought, 'but 'Extension' was recorded in 1965?' and looked at my TOCJ copy. Sure enough, it sez Mar 24-27 1965.

So I got out Ruppli's BN discography and couldn't find it there. Sure enough, it was the same dates but in 1964. Seems quite unlike Toshiba EMI to make an error like that. 

But, in the end, how do you know how long the version of 'Extension' was to say there wasn't any room for it? There's almost five and a half minutes of space on UCCQ5008.


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1 hour ago, jazzbo said:

That Patton is a cool SHM-CD. The Braith material was also reissued in the US here


Image 1 - George Braith : The Complete Blue Note Sessions 2 CD set, 24558

This does not have the Blue John material under Patton's leadership, it has Braith's three leader dates for BN.

I have the SHM of Blue John, and I have to say that I was a little disappointed - I LOVED the grease fest that the LP is and the 5 bonus tracks are much less greasy.  That said if it was reissued again, say as a dbl LP with even more bonus tracks, I'd probably buy it again.

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I was not claiming that reissue DID have the "Blue John" material, I was adding the fact that it contained the same Braith sessions you noted were on Blue Note Works.

I'm not crazy about "Blue John". . . or Braith actually, which dampens my enthusiasm for the material. But any John Patton is worth a listen.

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M.G., after reading your post, I had a look at the Blue Note Works CD of "Extension", and it does give the date as 1965 instead of 1964. It also says that it contains material from both March 24 and 27. The online Blue Note discography, which gives 1964, says that only material from March 27 was issued. I have no way to check any of that. I don't know where the discography got its information. The Blue Note Works CD might be correct. The American 2 CD set which Lon mentions, has 1964, and only from March 27. Michael Cuscuna having produced that, we can safely assume that the information is correct.

Re the length of the Patton version of "Extension", the Braith version runs 6:40, and it's a safe bet that the Patton version is at least that long, especially because it also has the trumpet. It was take 27 and the previous track was take 15, and the other tracks are good, so we may safely assume that the take was a good one. My guess is that space was short and Mchael Cuscuna picked that for omission because the tune appears on the Braith album.

Incidentally, a gap of 12 takes?? I often see huge gaps like that. Of course, not all would be complete takes, and some takes after 15 might be of the previous tune, but, as a musician, I find that ridiculous. It shouldn't take so many takes! I couldn't solo on one tune ten times in a row. And when one is live, there is only one version.

At Duke Ellington's Impulse session with Trane, Bob Thiele asked if they wanted to do another take of one piece, and Duke said "Why? He will only be imitating himself.".

Edited by Shrdlu
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Yes, I agree with all that. We know about 'Hog maws, false start'. My guess is that false starts might have been quite frequent. We know that Blue Note paid for two days of rehearsal. At that time, those rehearsals would have been under Duke Pearson's supervision. We can readily assume that the musicians knew what they were going to do, but you can't avoid false starts or other surprising events - the guitarist coughing or a glass getting tipped onto the floor or the sax player's trousers.


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