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Tom 1960

Benny Golson

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Any comments on Stockholm Sojourn on Prestige ?, not sure if BG plays or was the arranger/composer on that date

It was on Prestige 7361 and Stateside 10150, and he did both.

According to Bruyninckx the big band parts were recorded July 14, 1964 in Stockholm, the parts of Grachan Moncur and and Cecil Payne were overdubbed in New York during autumn of 1964, as were the Swedish soloist in Stockholm.

Never heard that one but wonder how organic it sounds with this triple recording procedure.

Oh well I found out too late , ended up getting the Stateside Lp of this (cheap) on ebay before I read all these negative comments about the session. Penguin give it a decent three stars, I'll judge for my self soon enough.

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A bonus on The Philadelphians is a fantastic muted Lee Morgan solo on "You're Not The Kind" -- what continuity! Also, this is one of the few recorded performances (maybe the only?) by the bass-drum team of Percy Heath and P.J. Jones, who are superb together (along with Ray Bryant).

Not "the only".

Intoducing The Elmo Hope Trio has them together.

I have the JRVG.

there are even more recordings oh Hope, Heath and PJ Jones

see Noal Cohen's Elmo Hope Discography

http://www.attictoys.com/jazz/EH.HTM

they worked together in Joe Morris Rhythm and Blues band in 1948

(what a line up: Joe Morris (t, v), Matthew Gee (tb), Johnny Griffin (ts), Bill McLemore (bar), Elmo Hope (p), Percy Heath (b), Philly Joe Jones (d))

and on Hope's 1961 Riverside album Homecoming

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I too heard Golson in 2005 guesting with a local big band and he was great! Had a chance to meet him after the concert - a very nice man.

Considering his age one can't blame him for being tired on a tour like that king ubu saw a concert of - I couldn't make it to that one.

I have two of the other Arkadia CDs, and especially that all-star sax meeting is excellent! Never heard the funky one.

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A bonus on The Philadelphians is a fantastic muted Lee Morgan solo on "You're Not The Kind" -- what continuity! Also, this is one of the few recorded performances (maybe the only?) by the bass-drum team of Percy Heath and P.J. Jones, who are superb together (along with Ray Bryant).

Not "the only".

Intoducing The Elmo Hope Trio has them together.

I have the JRVG.

there are even more recordings oh Hope, Heath and PJ Jones

see Noal Cohen's Elmo Hope Discography

http://www.attictoys.com/jazz/EH.HTM

they worked together in Joe Morris Rhythm and Blues band in 1948

(what a line up: Joe Morris (t, v), Matthew Gee (tb), Johnny Griffin (ts), Bill McLemore (bar), Elmo Hope (p), Percy Heath (b), Philly Joe Jones (d))

and on Hope's 1961 Riverside album Homecoming

That's off topic, but that Homecoming LP is terrific! It includes on the craziest modern piano blues I have heard - a must buy!

That Joe Morris band was nice and had a bunch of great players passing through.

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Everything I would recomend has already been mentioned but when I clicked on the emusic link I saw that Lem Winchester album which has Golson on it and it's excellent and highly recomended.

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I've always been surprised at how few jazz fans that I speak to have heard of Benny Golson, despite the fact that he was the star soloist and main writer of Moanin', which is one of the starter albums that most jazz novices buy.

So, a question for any board members who were around at the time: was Benny Golson prominent and well known among casual jazz fans in the 50s and has since fallen from recognition, or was he always roughly as well known as he is today?

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29 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

I've always been surprised at how few jazz fans that I speak to have heard of Benny Golson, despite the fact that he was the star soloist and main writer of Moanin', which is one of the starter albums that most jazz novices buy.

So, a question for any board members who were around at the time: was Benny Golson prominent and well known among casual jazz fans in the 50s and has since fallen from recognition, or was he always roughly as well known as he is today?

Moanin' was written by Bobby Timmons under the encouragement of Benny. IIRC Timmons was playing around with the opening piano figure and Golson told him  he's got something there, he should write a bridge and he'd have a great song for the group. Timmons wrote it shortly thereafter. I have never heard any intimation that Golson contributed a single note.

I also have no idea why anyone wouldn't think of Lee Morgan as the soloist, followed closely by the composer, on that tune but I guess that's in the ear of the beholder.  

Which brings me to your actual question: Golson's appeal to most fans, IMHO, is as a composer. His playing is nothing to denigrate (I am personally glad the Coltrane influence waned) but he'll be remembered for all of the great tunes he wrote, Moanin' aside. And if you are speaking of "casual" fans, why would casual fans know or care about composers? I was well on my way to obsessive purchasing when I noticed how many tunes I really liked were written by Benny Golson. It was easy to choose a new purchase if Whisper Not, Killer Joe, or countless other compositions were on it.

Edited by Dan Gould

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5 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Moanin' was written by Bobby Timmons under the encouragement of Benny. IIRC Timmons was playing around with the opening piano figure and Golson told him  he's got something there, he should write a bridge and he'd have a great song for the group. Timmons wrote it shortly thereafter. I have never heard any intimation that Golson contributed a single note.

I also have no idea why anyone wouldn't think of Lee Morgan as the soloist, followed closely by the composer, on that tune but I guess that's in the ear of the beholder.  

Sorry to not have been clearer, but I was referring to the album, conventionally called "Moanin'" after the famous Bobby Timmons tune, not to the tune itself.

All the songs on it other than Come Rain or Shine and that track are written by Golson, and as a result the record very much has the "sound" of a Golson record from the late 50s.  My recollection is that he also gets the most solo time overall, although I haven't sat down with a watch to check.

12 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Which brings me to your actual question: Golson's appeal to most fans, IMHO, is as a composer. His playing is nothing to denigrate (I am personally glad the Coltrane influence waned) but he'll be remembered for all of the great tunes he wrote, Moanin' aside. And if you are speaking of "casual" fans, why would casual fans know or care about composers? I was well on my way to obsessive purchasing when I noticed how many tunes I really liked were written by Benny Golson. It was easy to choose a new purchase if Whisper Not, Killer Joe, or countless other compositions were on it.

Thanks. That probably is it, isn't it? It also explains the way his career mapped out too.

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Has he ever finished his book? He has some great stories. 

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I've always liked The Compositions of Benny Golson on Riverside.  It is a comp that hangs together well as an album.

A few of Golson's Mission: Impossible scores were released on the 6-CD MI set that was released several years ago.  

The military drums were a real stumbling block for me on that set.  As Groucho famously said, "Military intelligence is to intelligence what military music is to music."  I need to revisit it, and burn some custom CD-Rs without the military drums.

Golson's 1960s Verve album Tune In, Turn On, in which he reimagines TV commercials, is a real favorite.  

I love this track:

and this one:

and this one:

 

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Golson had a pretty high profile as a player until he moved West and pursued the writing gigs. He did that for several decades and then stepped back out as as a player, with a significantly updated style.

Blakey told him he needed to have his own band since he was arranging with so much detail. This the Jazztet, and they did ok.

The George Russel New York record had two tenor solos on the same side, one by Coltrane, the other by Golson.

 

 

 

 

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Coltrane:

Golson:

 

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16 minutes ago, JSngry said:

The George Russel New York record had two tenor solos on the same side, one by Coltrane, the other by Golson.

I love that album!  A crime jazz classic!

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4 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

I've always been surprised at how few jazz fans that I speak to have heard of Benny Golson, despite the fact that he was the star soloist and main writer of Moanin', which is one of the starter albums that most jazz novices buy.

So, a question for any board members who were around at the time: was Benny Golson prominent and well known among casual jazz fans in the 50s and has since fallen from recognition, or was he always roughly as well known as he is today?

He was pretty well known amongst jazz fans when I started listening in the early '60s.  I Remember Clifford, Whisper Not, Along Came Betty and Killer Joe amongst others by him were as close as you got to "hits" in the jazz world. 

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I don't ever recall hearing Benny Golson in person unless it was at IAJE one year and I've forgotten. But I interviewed him for a Hot House article, he was very gracious and a fun subject. He is well represented in my collection.

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I saw him live one time at Sweet Basil in 1997.

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Golson & JJ Johnson both left active performing to get into film/TV scoring. Their "jazz profile" followed suit as a result.

Compare that to Oliver Nelson, who made the same move, but kept on making records, a lot of records.

A good question would be why neither Golson nor JJ got called for the more commercial recording gigs for singers that Nelson did, the ones where he could (and did) crank out quality-sounding arrangements using all too predictable materials, like, just assemble a chart by combining one from Column A, , etc.

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It doesn't help retrospectively that much of his career was for the "wrong" labels. From the standpoint of 2021, being on Blue Note means you are reasonably famous still. Being on New Jazz, less so. Argo? Nope.

It took me a while to get to Golson. It involved one day noticing how much certain albums sounded like each other, and then joining the dots and realising it was because they were all playing that very distinctive Golson material. He's not my favourite horn player, but he's pretty enjoyable and his arrangements and tunes really are great.

I asked the question above because, whilst liner notes are always unreliable (being a form of press), liner notes for Golson records or the Jazztet seem a bit more hagiographic than you'd expect for someone of his current standing. I wondered if he was an A Lister at the time who has fallen from view with the passing of time. From the above, it sounds like he wasn't really. 

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New Jazz (which was basically Prestige) & Argo were both reasonably well-distributed in real time. All those Ahmad Jamal records weren't sold by mail order! Prestige, of course, became an OJC thing. Argo, though...kinda slipped out of sight over time and still hasn't really recovered. A true pity, that is.

Golson's solo records ultimately took a back seat to his band projects. First Blakey and then the Jazztet.

As for his own playing, I recall reading contemporaneous press where Golson, Johnny Griffin, and Coltrane were all looked at as "new voices" on the tenor, primarily becusae of their facility. You might laugh to think of Golson in that company, but remember, he was a peer of Coltrane's in Philly and they were all studying the same stuff. So, no, at the time I think you could indulge a momentary wondering about who was going where.

And both the Jazztet & Golson had enough market profile to "move up" to Mercury, which by then was a reasonably large label.

There's enough a body of work there to have made a big box Mosaic.

R-2914837-1307068019.jpeg.jpg

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

There's enough a body of work there to have made a big box Mosaic.

There's enough in the Tune In, Turn On album alone!

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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as with most cover versions, this is not as good as the original:

Swing it up, it says yes.

Take the shot, count it down, rip it off.

Indeed.

 

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11 minutes ago, JSngry said:

as with most cover versions, this is not as good as the original:

Swing it up, it says yes.

Take the shot, count it down, rip it off.

Indeed.

 

That's Ali McGraw!

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and Barry Manilow.

you swing them both up, they say yes.

For her it's in the contract, for him it's in the chart.

 

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37 minutes ago, JSngry said:

as with most cover versions, this is not as good as the original:

I dunno.  While today's generation is saying some beautiful and important things - and as adults, we should listen -  I much prefer to hear their pearls of wisdom delivered with the civility, gentility, and politeness that we associate with jazz.

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