Although jazz musicians like Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, and Jimmy McGriff are some of the best-known practitioners of the Hammond B-3 organ, my entree into the funky world of organ jazz was through Big John Patton. In fact, the first organ-combo record I ever owned was not only by Patton but a 1963 session that didn't see the light of day until it was released by Blue Note in 1986, so it was hardly considered an essential of the sound. Still, Blue John
remains one of my all-time favorites. Although drummer Ben Dixon and guitarist Grant Green were masters of the form, the front-line horns—trumpeter Tommy Turrentine (the older brother of saxophonist Stanley) and reedist George Braith—were generally second-tier players, but they all sparkled on this killer date. And for me nothing on the album outshines the opening cut, "Hot Sauce," an impossibly groovy gem with unbelievably catchy solos by both Green and Patton (Turrentine sits this track out). Braith's solo makes excellent use of stuttery phrasing, but its greatest appeal is its freakiness; he played a soprano sax and a stritch (a straight alto sax famously played by Rahsaan Roland Kirk as well as David S. Ware) simultaneously—he dubbed the combo the Braithophone—for a cool, grainy tone. "Hot Sauce" is today's 12 O'Clock Track
; check it out after the jump.