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The Many Moods of Benny Golson

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Album Review

Benny Golson is in terrific form throughout this compilation, which draws from three of Benny Golson's earlier CDs for Arkadia Jazz (though oddly omitting any music from Up Jumped Benny), listing personnel but not giving any recording dates. A reunion with his old Jazztet bandmates Art Farmer and Curtis Fuller features new versions of two of the band's staples, Golson's hit "Killer Joe" and "Along Came Betty," with superb solos and ensemble work. Golson trades choruses with Branford Marsalis in a dreamy setting of "Body and Soul," while cornetist Nat Adderley provides a foil for the leader in "Work Song" and a decidedly funky setting of "Mack the Knife." But the biggest treat for Golson's fans is the addition of four previously unissued tracks, all quartet numbers. The tenor saxophonist is pared with Mulgrew Miller, Buster Williams, and Carl Allen for a lush, subtle take of "Mood Indigo" and a jaunty "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." The rhythm section switches to Mike LeDonne, Dwayne Burno and Joe Farnsworth for a snappy take of John Coltrane's infrequently performed "Syeeda's Song Flute" and a delicate interpretation of the leader's ballad "Touch Me Lightly." Even if one already owns 60-percent of this compilation on Golson's earlierArkadia Jazz releases, it is still worth the investment.


Born: 25 January 1929 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Benny Golson is a talented composer/arranger whose tenor playing has continued to evolve with time. After attending Howard University (1947-1950) he worked in Philadelphia with Bull Moose Jackson's R&B band (1951) at a time when it included one of his writing influences, Tadd Dameron on piano. Golson played with Dameron for a period in 1953, followed by stints with Lionel Hampton (1953-1954), and Johnny Hodges and Earl Bostic (1954-1956). He came to prominence while with Dizzy Gillespie's globetrotting...
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The Many Moods of Benny Golson, Benny Golson
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