Big John Patton was born July 12, 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri. A self-taught musician, he started playing the piano in 1948 and landed his first big gig touring with R&B sensation Lloyd Price from 1954-1959.
Upon his arrival in New York, around 1960, Patton began making the transition from piano to organ. Throughout the 1960's he recorded extensively for Blue Note Records as a leader and sideman, most notably with Grant Green and Lou Donaldson.
His music evolved to incorporate elements of modal and free jazz, without ever losing the basic, earthy groove that he brought to it from the beginning.