Recent listening, current

Friday, February 8, 2013

28. Benny Golson / Tenor Legacy (1998)

This album is essential. The explosive session is very natural and everyone is clearly enjoying it. Veteran Golson teams up with Branford Marsalis, James Carter and Harold Ashby to pay tribute to Dexter Gordon, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Coltrane, and a half dozen more. The atomic "Lester Leaps In" places Golson's mature phrasing and fat tone between the young and more adventurous Carter, whose abrasive squall is the ideal foil. Ashby joins in for good measure, and the three-way melee is one hell of an opener. Golson gets a single track alone, the sweet ballad "In Memory of," dedicated to Don Byas accompanied by lush block chords and the rainy touch of sliding brushes. I also really enjoyed the take "My Favorite Things" a la Coltrane. The feel is much different than Trane's. Dwayne Burno's busy bass is another animal compared to the hauntingly ambiguous static elements that were played by Steve Davis, and pianist Geoff Keezer stands out above the assembled reeds and almost steals the show, alternating between shifting modalities and improvised linear melody.

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