For his fourth recording, organist Ben Paterson returns to the North West Coast Origin label with For Once in My Life
. He employs a standard organ-guitar-drums combo for eleven standards and originals that allows the crack trio he shares with guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer George Fludas to fully explore the more modern sonic aspects of this popular jazz- blues-funk format. Blending the musical traditions of his native Philadelphia and his current Chicago home Paterson errs on the side of the ballad, liberally seasoned with hotter funk and blues. This is urban and urbane organ jazz.
Where he successfully brings the ballad and funk styles together is on the Ron Miller and Orlando Murden tune made famous by Stevie Wonder for Detroit's Tamala Records in 1968. Paterson introduces the piece with a driving introduction that resolves into a fast waltz time modulating into 2/4 and 4/4 for the first section. He returns to the intro vamp before introducing his solo, over a walking 4/4 blues-funk romp. He dramatically builds his solo in both density, complexity, and pathos. His climax is experienced over a single right-hand note that explodes into block chord fireworks.
Breaking with the intro vamp again, Paterson sets up the first section rhythm of Bernstein to solo with smooth edges and curves. Fludas is provided space for dense polythythms bringing the piece into its well-designed coda. There is much to like on this new Paterson recording, and he cooked it all up in this one song.