Patton was one of the most in-demand organists during the golden era of the Hammond B-3 organs between 1963 and 1970. He was a major figure in the development of the funk and blues-rooted jazz style known as soul jazz and is considered a roots player who inspired the acid jazz movement. He recorded extensively for Blue Note, and performed or collaborated with Lloyd Price, Grant Green, and Lou Donaldson. Patton had a lower profile in the 1970s but enjoyed a comeback in the 1980s and ’90s, often in collaboration with saxophonist John Zorn. His music evolved to incorporate modal and free jazz.
John Patton, born in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 12, 1935, was an American jazz and jazz fusion composer and performer whose work included “Funky Mama” and “Along Came John”. He developed the nickname “Big John”, not because of his size, but because of a song. “Remember the tune, ‘Big Bad John’? … yeah, well, that’s what they started calling me and at first I didn’t understand it but I love it now. It’s just a name; if it’s going to help you, then boogie on up in there!”