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OnLinerNotes - JAZZ!
Don Wilkerson's final LP 'Shoutin' - LP Cover

track 1. MOVIN' OUT:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 2. COOKIN' WITH CLARENCE:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 3. EASY LIVING:
(Rainger-Robin)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 4. HAPPY JOHNNY:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 5. BLUES FOR J:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 6. SWEET CAKE:
(Edward Frank)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963



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Don Wilkerson's final LP 'Shoutin' - LP Cover

track 1. MOVIN' OUT:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 2. COOKIN' WITH CLARENCE:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 3. EASY LIVING:
(Rainger-Robin)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 4. HAPPY JOHNNY:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 5. BLUES FOR J:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 6. SWEET CAKE:
(Edward Frank)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963



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Don Wilkerson's final LP 'Shoutin' - LP Cover

track 1. MOVIN' OUT:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 2. COOKIN' WITH CLARENCE:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 3. EASY LIVING:
(Rainger-Robin)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 4. HAPPY JOHNNY:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 5. BLUES FOR J:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 6. SWEET CAKE:
(Edward Frank)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963



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Don Wilkerson's final LP 'Shoutin' - LP Cover

track 1. MOVIN' OUT:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 2. COOKIN' WITH CLARENCE:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 3. EASY LIVING:
(Rainger-Robin)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 4. HAPPY JOHNNY:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 5. BLUES FOR J:
(Don Wilkerson)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963


track 6. SWEET CAKE:
(Edward Frank)

tenor sax - DON WILKERSON
guitar - GRANT GREEN
organ - 'BIG' JOHN PATTON
drums - BEN DIXON

in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on July 30th, 1963



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Shoutin'
Don Wilkerson

    "...returning to the confines of a quartet -- ( who needs competition from trumpet players! ) -- for this his final album, Don Wilkerson's playing actually becomes less confined and much more liberated, proving him again, as one of the most forceful and full-bodied tenor saxophonists in soul-jazz during the '60s..."

Blue Note Records
[ BP-4145 ]

LP design - Reid Miles


producer - Alfred Lion
engineer - Rudy Van Gelder

Liner Notes:

_____"Shoutin' " is Don Wilkerson's third celebration of the blues heritage for this label. (His previous Blue Note albums are "Preach, Brother!" (BLP 4107), and "Elder Don" (BLP 4121).

_____Don Wilkerson (bio) plays a very basic style of jazz, a genre that has gone largely untouched by post-Bop advances (at least not by many beyond those of Horace Silver and the early Sonny Rollins) and which is informed almost exclusively - technically and inspirationally - by the essential sources, gospel and the blues. The scope and breadth of its expression is restricted pretty much to the experiences and emotions which these sources are about. On this basis, and by the standards of 1963, it is probably valid to call Don Wilkerson's jazz 'primitive'. But this is not meant to imply a derogation of either the music or the man who is making it, rather it is intended to define both in their relationship to other contemporary jazz forms and artists.

_____Don Wilkerson's music is no less contemporary than, say, Ornette Coleman's or Cecil Taylor's, for it too would express a contemporary reality; in Don Wilkerson's instance the reality of Harlem - most immediately, for him, East Texas Harlem and New York, Chicago or San Francisco Harlem as well. If the Ornette Colemans and Cecil Taylors have somehow managed to transcend their origins, escape the trappings of the ghetto, go on to discover other realities, and learn how their origins can nourish rather than confine their art, the "Wilkerson's" work within the limitations of what is accessible to them, the traditions and sources they are permitted to claim. But compelling music can be made within these boundaries as the album at hand will witness, for Don Wilkerson and his associates are into the music. Their work has fire and commitment and these finally are all that matter because it is these energies which move and touch.

_____Many jazz musicians will describe that prerequisite quality and dimension of 'soul' as the badge of the hardships that are endured in the struggle to merely survive. But soul, when it is genuinely present, is more than that. The very act of making music is, in itself, not only a means of coming to terms with the circumstances of the environment, but also a way of transcending the environment. Soul comes from the victories that one may win over the environment, which is to say the ability to make use of one's creative capacities. It is about feeling good too, and the best of our jazzmen, the most soulful of them, have arrived at this.

_____Obviously Don Wilkerson has. Much jazz of this genre is blunted by anger. But Don Wilkerson's music would seem to be more about joy than anger. "Sweet Cake" is the work of a New Orleans musician and friend of Don Wilkerson named Edward Frank. But "Movin' Out", "Cookin' With Clarence", "Happy Johnny" (which has undertones of Miles Davis's "Milestones") are all Don Wilkerson's lines; all of them simple, Don Wilkerson's last LP Shoutin' - LP Coverrhythmically alive and infectious. "Blues For J", also by Don Wilkerson, is an impassioned communication of the basic statement. How sophisticated Don Wilkerson and his colleagues are as regards the kind of jazz they choose to play, is perhaps most stirringly demonstrated on this track.

_____Rhythm is the key virtue of Don Wilkerson's talent. As an instrumentalist he is not in possession of the big, booming sound of many of his similarly persuaded colleagues, but his solos have great movement and lifting rhythmic charge. "Happy Johnny" and, to an even greater extent, "Cookin' With Clarence", on which the entire group excels (Grant Green and John Patton contribute electric solos), are exemplary of this. Don Wilkerson is also able to sustain a ballad tempo (on this album it is "Easy Living") without the price of melodic paralysis. John Patton's accompaniment on this number is especially lovely.

_____Don Wilkerson came to this series of Blue Note recordings with a background firmly entrenched in the idiom, though he has not gone entirely untouched by more advanced jazz players. He was born in Moreauville, Louisiana in 1932 and grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and Houston. His first jobs were in those areas and later he traveled to Southern California where he worked and recorded with R&B bands, notably those of Amos Milburn and Charles Brown. During his time on the coast he also got to play with such jazz musicians as Sonny Clark (bio), Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray. In 1954 Don Wilkerson joined a band newly organized by Ray Charles and he is the featured tenor soloist on many of Ray Charles's most popular recordings; "I Got A Woman", "This Little Girl Of Mine", "Come Back Baby", "Hallelujah, I Love Her So", etc.

_____The tenor saxophonists whom Don Wilkerson acknowledges to have made the strongest impressions upon him have been Sonny Stiff, Ike Quebec, Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, Gene Ammons, Paul Gonsalves and Sonny Rollins. These are exceptional players, at least one is more than that, but it is not unlikely that Don Wilkerson, in the not too distant future, will achieve a similar stature.

_____The accompanying players on this set: Grant Green (bio), guitar; John Patton (bio), organ and Ben Dixon, drums, are outstanding exponents of the idiom in their own right. Two of them, Grant Green and John Patton, have their own series of Blue Note albums, and Ben Dixon is generally considered to be one of the most talented of the newer guitar players - probably only Kenny Burrell challenges his new and lofty eminence on the New York scene. Listen particularly to his fascinating work on "Cookin' With Clarence" and "Happy Johnny". John Patton can claim an original ear and, though he too can shout, a uniquely gifted sense of the more subtle expressive possibilities of the organ. His comping on all the numbers in this set is brilliantly alive.

_____'Alive' is a word that could be accurately applied to what happens on the entire album. The conditions out of which these musicians have come are hardly conducive to anything but the opposite of that word, but Don Wilkerson and the others have discovered in their music where the life is. (...original liner notes from Robert Levin...)

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Don Wilkerson: a bio
______Don Wilkerson was born in 1932 in Moreauville, Louisiana and died on July 18, 1986 in Houston. The archetypal big-toned Texas tenor of Don Wilkerson was unfortunately not documented on record as much as the quality of his music deserved; he was an excellent, earthy soul-jazz saxophonist capable of playing blues, ballads, bop, swing, and gospel-tinged R&B. Don Wilkerson at a live gig in TexasDon Wilkerson was born in Moreauville, Louisiana, in 1932, and first learned the alto sax; by his teens, he had moved to Houston and was accomplished enough on tenor to play with R&B outfits headed by Amos Milburn and Charles Brown.

______Don Wilkerson played on some of Ray Charles' earliest recording sessions in the mid-50s, taking memorable solos on classics like "I Got a Woman", "This Little Girl of Mine", and "Hallelujah I Love Her So". He also led a band in Miami for a short time, and participated in numerous jam sessions with Cannonball Adderley. Adderley produced Don Wilkerson's first recording session, a 1960 date for Riverside® titled "The Texas Twister". After another short stint with Ray Charles, he signed with Blue Note® and recorded three stellar, soulful albums over 1962-1963: "Elder Don", "Preach, Brother!", and "Shoutin' ", all of which featured Grant Green (bio) on guitar. Unfortunately, none was very successful, and Don Wilkerson didn't record any further as a leader. He remained in Houston for most of his life and passed away on July 18, 1986. (...from Steve Huey...)

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Grant Green: a bio
_______Grant Green was born in St. Louis on June 6, 1931 and died in New York on January 31, 1979. He learned his instrument in grade school from his guitar-playing father and was playing professionally by the age of thirteen with a gospel group. He worked gigs in his home town and in East St. Louis, Illinois until he moved to New York in 1960 at the suggestion of Lou Donaldson. Grant Green told Dan Morgenstern in a Down Beat® interview: "...The first thing I learned to play was boogie-woogie. Then I had to do a lot of rock & roll. It's all blues, anyhow..."

_____His extensive foundation in R&B combined with a mastery of bebop and simplicity that put expressiveness ahead of technical expertise. Grant Green was a superb blues interpreter, and his later material was predominantly blues and R&B, though he was also a wondrous ballad and standards soloist. He was a particular admirer of Charlie Parker, and his phrasing often reflected it. Grant Green played in the 1950s with Jimmy Forrest, Harry Edison, and Lou Donaldson.

_____He also collaborated with many organists, among them Brother Jack McDuff, Sam Lazar, Grant GreenBaby Face Willette, Gloria Coleman, Big John Patton, and Larry Young. During the early 1960s, both his fluid, tasteful playing in organ/guitar/drum combos and his other dates for Blue Note established Grant Green as a star, though he seldom got the critical respect given other players. He was off the scene for a bit in the mid-60s, but came back strong in the late 1960s and 1970s. Grant Green played with Stanley Turrentine, Dave Bailey, Yusef Lateef, Joe Henderson, Hank Mobley, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones.

_____Sadly, drug problems interrupted his career in the 1960s, and undoubtedly contributed to the illness he suffered in the late 1970s. Grant Green was hospitalized in 1978 and died a year later. Despite some rather uneven LPs near the end of his career, the great body of his work represents marvelous soul-jazz, bebop, and blues.

_____A severely underrated player during his lifetime, Grant Green is one of the great unsung heroes of jazz guitar. Like Stanley Turrentine, he tends to be left out of the books. Although he mentions Charlie Christian and Jimmy Raney as influences, Grant Green always claimed he listened to horn players (Charlie Parker and Miles Davis) and not other guitar players, and it shows. No other player has this kind of single-note linearity (he avoids chordal playing). There is very little of the intellectual element in Grant Green's playing, and his technique is always at the service of his music. And it is music, plain and simple, that makes Grant Green unique.

_____Grant Green's playing is immediately recognizable - perhaps more than any other guitarist. Grant Green has been almost systematically ignored by jazz buffs with a bent to the cool side, and he has only recently begun to be appreciated for his incredible musicality. Perhaps no guitarist has ever handled standards and ballads with the brilliance of Grant Green. (...from Michael Erlewine and Ron Wynn...)

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John Patton: a bio
_______Big John Patton was born in Kansas City on July 12th, 1935 and died in Montclair, New Jersey on March 19th, 2002. He was not nearly as well-known as other warriors in the organ jazz field of the 1960s, yet he could be counted upon for a reliable, even fervent collection of blues and bop-saturated licks and steady bass lines on the Hammond B-3. Mostly self-taught with some rudimentary instruction from his mother, John Patton started playing piano in 1948, eventually landing a gig with the Lloyd Price touring band from 1954 to 1959, before moving to New York. Once there, he began to make the transition from piano to organ, learning a lot from two future recording mates, drummer Ben Dixon and guitarist Grant Green. He recorded with Lou Donaldson for Blue Note from 1962 to 1964 and, after impressing Blue Note founder Alfred Lion, made the first of a string of albums as a leader for the label in 1963. Interestingly, many of his albums, though scheduled for release, never saw the light of day until after Blue Note's resurrection in 1985.

_____When the Hammond B-3 and soul-jazz went out of fashion in the 1970s, John Patton's career went into eclipse as well, and he settled in East Orange, New Jersey. But, shortly after he started recording again in 1983, John Patton was rediscovered by a younger generation, particularly the avant-garde figure John Zorn, who began using his sound out of its usual context on recordings like "The Big Gundown" and Spillane's "Two-Lane Highway". John Patton continued to release new recordings into the '90s, including two on the Japanese label DIW. He passed away due to complications from diabetes and kidney malfunction on March 19, 2002, at the age of 66. (...from Richard S. Ginell & Al Campbell...)

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Sonny Clark: a bio
_______Sonny Clark was born on July 21, 1931 in Herminie, Pennsylvania and died in New York on January 13, 1963. Like Fats Navarro and Charlie Parker before him, Sonny Clark's life was short but it burned with musical intensity. Influenced deeply by Bud Powell, Sonny Clark nonetheless developed an intricate and hard-swinging harmonic sensibility that was full of nuance and detail. Regarded as the quintessential hard bop pianist, Sonny Clark never got his due before he passed away Sonny Clark in 1963 at the age of 31, despite the fact that it can be argued that he never played a bad recording date either as a sideman or as a leader.

_____Known mainly for seven records on the Blue Note label with a host of players including such luminaries as John Coltrane, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Art Taylor, Paul Chambers, Wilbur Ware, Philly Joe Jones, and others, Sonny Clark actually made his recording debut with Teddy Charles and Wardell Gray, but left soon after to join Buddy DeFranco. His work with the great clarinetist has been documented in full in a Mosaic set that is now sadly out of print. Clark also backed Dinah Washington, Serge Chaloff, and Sonny Criss before assuming his role as a leader in 1957.

_____Sonny Clark's classic is regarded as "Cool Struttin' " but each date he led on Blue Note qualifies as a classic, including his final date, "Sonny's Crib" with John Coltrane. And though commercial success always eluded him, he was in demand as a sideman and played dozens of Alfred Lion produced dates, including Tina Brooks' "Minor Move". Luckily, Sonny Clark's contribution is well documented by Alfred Lion; he has achieved far more critical, musical, and popular acclaim than he ever did in life. (...from Thom Jurek...)


OnλinerNotes - JAZZ
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