Philly-born pianist Ben Paterson picked up organ after a move to Chicago, where he became inspired by Windy City B-3 wizard Chris Foreman. Along with quintessential organ trio guitarist Peter Bernstein and Chicago drummer George Fludas, Paterson stays strictly in the pocket on this decidedly old-school offering, which harkens back to classic 1960s Blue Note sessions.
Everything feels right on Ray Bryant's "Cubano Chant," with the drums understated just enough in the mix to set a simmering tone for this swinging session. Paterson states the melody of "I'll Close My Eyes" in soulful, intimate terms over Fludas' briskly swinging brushwork, while Bernstein comps in typically hip fashion before unleashing a dynamic single-note flurry. Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" is rendered as a sly 6/8 groover, while the title track has Paterson channeling his inner Jack McDuff.
While Paterson is the type of player who places a premium on melody and groove over chops, he does flaunt some sizzling licks, especially on the Horace Silver uptempo showcase "Nutville." And his two originals, a shuffling "Blues For C.F." and a relaxed "Near Miss," fit in nicely with the tone of this classy, swinging session.