Saturday, March 20, 2010

Groovin' With Benny Golson

Benny Golson (sax; b. 1929)

Benny Golson's (saxophone) new release, The Best Of Benny Golson (Concord Music Group), is a compilation of material spanning his career with the Milestones, Concord, Prestige and OJC labels. Born in Philadelphia in 1929, Golson worked in early R&B outfits in the '50s to before becoming a member in both Dizzy Gillespie's and Art Blakey's band in the late '50s. He would later go on to formed The Jazztet with Art Farmer.

He has worked with almost every major bebop musician of the era. Benny Golson's own work is powerful yet very inviting. He has written a number of now standards for jazz musicians including "Stablemates," "Along Came Betty," and "Killer Joe" to name just a few. Many people may be more familiar with his work from the film The Terminal staring Tom Hanks and directed by Steve Spielberg. Benny Golson and his band performed in lounge bar of the airport. This brought new awareness of Benny's material and he has since toured consistently again.

Whenever he performs live I try to get as many people who are new jazz to experience his shows. Benny Golson is probably the best intro for people who are unfamiliar with jazz and all its beauty. There will be songs that are very recognizable to you on this collection, including "April In Paris," "Whisper Not," and "I Didn't Know What Time It Was". If you enjoy the saxophone and want to hear a true musician at the peak of his power, check out The Best Of Benny Golson. I believe you will enjoy immensely.

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