Recent listening, current

Friday, May 24, 2013

105. Benny Golson / Groovin' with Golson (1959)

Golson only has a single composing credit on this album ("My Blues House"), which is too bad considering how much I enjoy his style of jazz. But that tune, a slow blues, is the very first one on Groovin'. It is adequately seasoned with Curtis Fuller's flashy statements on trombone, perhaps more than Golson himself. Things move to a mid tempo piece "Drum Boogie" that swings hard with Art Blakey at the helm, before cooling down with the Rodgers and Hart standard "I Didn't Know what Time it was." Golson's sax blends sweetly with Fuller's trombone, and both are accomplished soloists. It's nice to hear their tones in opposition, too, as in "The Stroller" where a caustic Golson veritably peels the paint off the walls before we hear Fuller's punchy but softer sounding approach with short, staccato phrases. There's some brilliant piano work by Ray Bryant, possibly overshadowed by Golson or Fuller but easily underrated. Chambers and Blakey get a turn before everyone does fours and the thing wraps up. The quiet "Yesterdays" finishes the album with a whisper. Groovin' was recorded immediately before the formation of the Jazztet, but it's easy to see where things were going. I think here, Blakey gives a hard edge that was missing from even the Jazztet's most brilliant moments.


  1. The Stroller is a Golson-composition as well. Cheers!

    1. I missed that. It's a hot one, too! My favorite of the album.

      Cheers. Chris