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Good Gracious! (1963)

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Big John Patton

Good Gracious may be Lou Donaldson's record, but guitarist Grant Green and organist John Patton steal the show. Working with a tight, soulful groove laid down by drummer Ben Dixon, the guitarist and organist trade hot lines that often steal the thunder from Donaldson, who nevertheless turns in a robust, tuneful performance. Donaldson's tone is richer and fuller than it is on many of his early-'60s records, and he really connects with the laid-back R&B grooves and soul-jazz vamps on Good Gracious, turning in melodic, memorable solos. However, Grant and Patton take the songs even further with their intense solos and fills; Patton, in particular, sounds on fire even when the tempo is mellow. Good Gracious still falls prey to some of the lazy tempos that pop up on most Lou Donaldson records, but it remains one of his finest soul-jazz sessions. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine