Don Patterson – Under The Boardwalk



Keeping in the Summer spirit, I’m bringing out the Soul Jazz once again. This month would mark the 77th birthday of the great organ player Don Patterson. Today we will visit his excellent cover of The Drifters “Under The Boardwalk” from 1965 on Prestige Records. A staple in my household when I was growing up, “Under The Boardwalk” was sung by every member of my family on Saturday nights, in the car, while doing chores, etc. Since my parents were so into 50’s music, I knew the tune well. When I came upon this in the field (along with a copy of Patterson’s “Sister Ruth”), I knew it had to go into the collection.

Born in Columbus, Ohio on July 22, 1936, Don Patterson played the piano as a child and played it well. Inspired by the great Jimmy Smith to switch to the organ, his debut in the late 50’s as an organ player caught the attention of Sonny Stitt. Stitt’s felt the prowess behind his Hammond playing and scooped up Don. Patterson would then go on a rampage by releasing a slew of records for the Prestige label in the 1960’s on his own and together with Stitt. Their collaboration produced some great Soul Jazz offerings, and put Patterson right up their with Smith, McDuff, McGriff, Scott, and others. Unfortunately his drug addiction affected his career, and he went in and out of recording with labels such as Muse, finally passing from complications in 1988. Who knows what would have become of Patterson had it been a bit different. The guy was a talented cat.

Taken from the Hip Cake Walk release from 1965, and accompanied by Booker Ervin (tenor sax), Billy James (drums), and Leonard Houston (alto sax), this cover of the Drifters, plus an Earl Hines cover and mostly all Patterson compositions ranks up their with one of his better records. The title suggests the content, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. Patterson hits the nail right on the head with this Soul Jazz cover. Perfect for a Summer evening stroll or to just sit back, relax and unwind, this organ cover definitely swings. Listen, and be the judge. I’ll be drinking a cucumber water in a straw hat with my feet up with this tune on. Stay cool people.

Keep Diggin’!

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