Recent listening, current

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

83. Benny Golson / Gone with Golson (1959)

Rooted in Don Byas, et al., Golson takes at least one conservatively melodic chorus before stepping out a little farther. He's a very melodic player overall, but by the end of his turn, he's rushing ahead like a steam locomotive of emotional force. His arrangements and compositions are superb. In those furious bursts of energy it's easy to see his influence on Coltrane, but the leader's skills as composer also attracted Trane. Like the peculiar resolutions in "Soul Me" which work within, rather than toward, the gospel mode to ply such an intriguing charm. As for sidemen, Curtis Fuller is indispensable, transcending the slide and keenly harnessing the dynamic capabilities of his horn to make sympatico statements after Golson (try "Autumn Leaves). Brothers Ray and Tommy Bryant are an important unit whether it's comping, impeccable timekeeping, or taking their own choruses. So is Al Harewood felt, together about as solid a rhythm section as you could ask for. There's no Art Farmer in sight, but this isn't a Jazztet date and it's nice to watch Golson fly on his own, as it usually is.

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