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Pop - Released January 1, 2009 | Concord Records

Distinctions 3F de Télérama
At age eighty, tenor saxophonist, composer and band leader Benny Golson is still going strong, and although he experienced a few lean years, is very much a force on the modern mainstream jazz scene in the years of the 2000s. He has revived the spirit of his original Jazztet, co-founded with the late trumpeter Art Farmer, on several occasions since the ensemble was originally founded in 1959. This edition features a strong front line of Golson, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, and trombonist Steve Davis, players from different generations who completely understand the hard and post-bop language. The rhythm section is even more delicious, with pianist Mike LeDonne, peerless bassist Buster Williams, and younger drummer Carl Allen working together in the best sense of that ideal. As one of the more literate, articulate, and outspoken representatives of the jazz world, Golson continues to translate it into a broader base of influences. "Verdi's Voice" is a Baroque type waltz with harder edges from LeDonne and Williams, while the layered horn sections are at once kinetic and static. The rustic ballad "L'Adieu" with Henderson's muted trumpet echoes Chopin. In an uncomplicated romp that sounds Russian, "Gypsy Jingle-Jangle" bumps up to a fast hard bop like the original Jazztet, with Golson unshackled and flying. As a democratic leader focused on balance, Golson is happy to give the other bandmates their space, as Davis fronts "Grove's Grove" in a laid-back groove à la Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, with the leader's quiet resolve present on an observant solo. "Uptown Afterburn" is another prototype, an unapologetic hard bopper, a new tune that could easily have been done by the Jazztet of the '60s. Al Jarreau joins the band for an unhurried take of Golson's all-time classic "Whisper Not," with vocal comping and a cute second chorus. The Sonny Rollins standard "Airegin" is covered well, not as fast as it has been known, starting with the striking bass/piano ostinato tandem lines that immediately grab any listener and pulls him in -- a device that codifies modern jazz. A killer version of Thelonious Monk's "Epistrophy" is a stroke of genius, as Golson's unique arrangement has Williams and LeDonne again locked in, with Allen's brief solo warming to a churning rhythm that leaps out of the speakers, with the sextet punching through the melody in heavyweight fashion. Golson can also write soft, silky ballads as "From Dream to Dream" with Henderson's musings and the tenor man sighing, while "Love Me in a Special Way" has the muted trombone tones of Davis lifting up the wise and mature tenor of Golson. In the end, the watchwords for this recording are erudite, refined, intelligent, and above all, sophisticated. Appreciative veteran jazz lovers will want this excellent set of straight-ahead jazz from one of the true masters who needs to reclaim or affirm nothing in his decades as one of the true legends in American music. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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Jazz - Released March 20, 2012 | SINETONE AMR

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Universal Music

Renamed Turning Point upon one of its reissues, this quartet set for tenor saxophonist Benny Golson was the beginning of the close of an era. Within a year, Golson would be working full-time as a writer in the studios, and he de-emphasized his playing until making a comeback in the late 1970s. Golson is heard on this LP for one of the last times playing in his original Don Byas/Lucky Thompson-influenced style. Joined by pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb, Golson performs two originals, plus five superior standards, including "How Am I To Know," "Three Little Words" and "Alone Together." A rewarding but sadly out-of-print set. ~ Scott Yanow
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Pop - Released January 1, 1994 | Concord Records

Shortly before the formation of The Jazztet, tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson and trombonist Curtis Fuller teamed up for this quintet set with pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Tommy Bryant and drummer Al Harewood. Although Golson contributed three of the six songs ("Blues After Dark" is the best-known one), the emphasis is on his playing; the tenor is quite heated on the uptempo blues "Jam for Bobbie." The CD reissue adds "A Bit of Heaven" (originally on a sampler but part of the same session) to the original program, a fine example of hard bop of the late '50s. ~ Scott Yanow
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Pop - Released January 1, 1992 | Concord Records

This is one of at least four recordings that matched up tenor saxophonist Benny Golson and trombonist Curtis Fuller prior to the formation of the Jazztet; ironically, Fuller only stuck around for one Jazztet record before departing. Reissued on CD, the LP-length program has two lesser-known Golson compositions along with "Drum Boogie," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and "Yesterdays." Three of the tunes are blues, and the two ballads are taken at a medium-tempo pace. With pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Art Blakey forming a solid rhythm section, the hard bop music does indeed groove in its own fashion. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Concord Records

Tying in with his cameo appearance in Steven Spielberg's film The Terminal, saxophonist Benny Golson returns with Terminal 1. Featuring more of his sophisticated and swinging tunes, the album finds Golson in top form on some of his best compositions in years. Joining him on the front line here are esteemed trumpeter Eddie Henderson, deft pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Carl Allen. The title track is a mid-'60s-sounding angular piece designed to bring to mind the hustle of airports. Similarly engaging is the gorgeous ballad "Park Avenue Petite," which allows for some burnished melodicism from Henderson. It is also nice to hear Golson and company dig into the under-recorded standard "Cherry." Calling to mind the best Blue Note-era recordings, Terminal 1 is one flight of fancy not to be missed. ~ Matt Collar
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Jazz - Released November 30, 2017 | cappo digital

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Jazz - Released November 28, 2017 | classics & more

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Jazz - Released November 28, 2017 | cappo digital

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Jazz - Released November 22, 2017 | golden times

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Jazz - Released November 19, 2017 | Belle Wood

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Jazz - Released October 21, 2017 | golden times

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Jazz - Released October 20, 2017 | cappo digital

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Jazz - Released October 15, 2017 | cappo digital

£3.23

Jazz - Released October 13, 2017 | School of Jazz Records