Benny Golson

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 2582 times.

lazydays

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1276
Benny Golson
« on: 1 May 2011, 05:06 pm »
The Devine Ms G and I spent the evening with Benny Golson and others I know playing like there was no tomorrow! He described the events leading up to the next tune he would play in detail. Spoke of other reed players in detail and how he came to know them. The quartet included Steve Allee on piano, Frank Smith on the upright bass, and a drummer that I never quite caught his name. Allee and Smith virtually stole the show, and actually did a couple tunes as a trio without Mr. Golson.

Highly recommend you all attend if he's in your area!
gary

neobop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3448
  • BIRD LIVES
Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #1 on: 3 May 2011, 01:43 am »
Amazing. Benny is over 80 yrs old.

I have a bunch of his records from the early '60s with his Jazztet. He composed some standards like Killer Joe, Whisper Not, and Along Came Betty. It's good to hear that he's still got it.
neo

jimdgoulding

Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #2 on: 3 May 2011, 01:55 am »
Killer Joe was on the juke box at the BX cafeteria when I was in the service.  One of the first memorable instrumental jazztunes for me.  Wasn't that a sextet with Donald Byrd as co-leader?  I know I could look it up on Amazon but what fun is there doin that.  Was to hear much more Benny Golson later.

lazydays

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1276
Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #3 on: 3 May 2011, 05:44 pm »
Killer Joe was on the juke box at the BX cafeteria when I was in the service.  One of the first memorable instrumental jazztunes for me.  Wasn't that a sextet with Donald Byrd as co-leader?  I know I could look it up on Amazon but what fun is there doin that.  Was to hear much more Benny Golson later.

Benny has played with just about everybody at one time or another. But most people fail to realize what kind of a writer is is! Looking thru my record collection the other afternoon, and I see his name all over the place. He's even on some rock & roll stuff!
gary

steve k

Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #4 on: 3 May 2011, 06:12 pm »
Quote
Killer Joe was on the juke box at the BX cafeteria when I was in the service.  One of the first memorable instrumental jazztunes for me.  Wasn't that a sextet with Donald Byrd as co-leader?  I know I could look it up on Amazon but what fun is there doin that.  Was to hear much more Benny Golson later.

Art Farmer was the co-leader of the jazztet.

steve k

neobop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3448
  • BIRD LIVES
Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #5 on: 5 May 2011, 03:52 am »
Quincy Jones had a big studio album in '69 called Walking in Space. Killer Joe was the hit of the album. It's probably the most famous rendition. It was really a toe tapper and had some great musicians. There were other tunes on the album that I wasn't really into, like a couple from the musical Hair.

Benny and Art Blakey get the longevity award. Most guys don't even make it to 80, let alone keep playing, and playing hard.
neo

lcrim

Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #6 on: 5 May 2011, 04:23 am »
Sonny Rollins is still playing gigs, last I knew and he is well over 80. 
I read a bitchy review about a recent concert but there are those times when Sonny just goes where ever he feels and he can be on a different plane altogether and the band just has to wait until he returns to earth.  This can be brilliant but somewhat disconcerting.

Larry

jimdgoulding

Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #7 on: 5 May 2011, 05:13 am »
I just ran across an album tonite not heard in some time . . Good Cookin by Junior Cook (Muse).  Not that this has anything to do with Benny G, other than they are from the same period (to me).  I love Benny Golson.  If I keep lookin, I may find an album or two where he is the leader.  Hope so.

neobop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3448
  • BIRD LIVES
Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #8 on: 6 May 2011, 02:48 pm »
Sonny Rollins is still playing gigs, last I knew and he is well over 80. 
I read a bitchy review about a recent concert but there are those times when Sonny just goes where ever he feels and he can be on a different plane altogether and the band just has to wait until he returns to earth.  This can be brilliant but somewhat disconcerting.

Larry

Yea, it's a shame when guys try to keep playing after they've lost it. There's a big difference, to me at least, between a guy like Art Blakey who could still play, and a guy like Freddie Hubbard for instance. Playing a horn is physically demanding in a different way. The pressure and having to control the air flow isn't for the weak. Freddie kept playing after he couldn't cut it. Maybe he needed the bread cause he had been really sick and we know how that is. But I remember Freddie as a killer trumpet player - the best, not as I heard him in this century.

Joe Henderson could play when he was older. I guess he didn't make it to 80, but he didn't seem to lose it. I don't know about Sonny Rollins. Seems like maybe he should sit down.
neo

lazydays

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1276
Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #9 on: 6 May 2011, 05:09 pm »
Yea, it's a shame when guys try to keep playing after they've lost it. There's a big difference, to me at least, between a guy like Art Blakey who could still play, and a guy like Freddie Hubbard for instance. Playing a horn is physically demanding in a different way. The pressure and having to control the air flow isn't for the weak. Freddie kept playing after he couldn't cut it. Maybe he needed the bread cause he had been really sick and we know how that is. But I remember Freddie as a killer trumpet player - the best, not as I heard him in this century.

Joe Henderson could play when he was older. I guess he didn't make it to 80, but he didn't seem to lose it. I don't know about Sonny Rollins. Seems like maybe he should sit down.
neo

post is interesting, but will differ from you ever so slightly. I've seen old men that could barely get around play a tenor better than many professionals could when they were thirty five. A fine exampple of this if Freddie Hubbard's brother Uhrman. He was so frail that he couldn't get off the stage without help, but was one of the best piano men I've ever seen period! Another old fellow I knew probably did Round Midnight better than anybody in North America (as his peers often said). He played to his early eighties, and played very well. But once again couldn't stand on his own and had to have help getting off the stage. Another fellow played for a long time with Duke Ellington, and is well known as a very good tenor player. At age eighty he was still pushing air very well thru his horn, and even reversing air better than 90% of the players out there. It takes a lot of skill to pull air thru a horn, and make it musical
gary

richidoo

Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #10 on: 6 May 2011, 05:36 pm »
A little trivia, McCoy Tyner's first big gig was with the Jazztet.  Benny helped launch Blakey to international super stardom with his huge contributions to Blakey's big album "Moanin." That record plus his "I Remember Clifford" with Dizzy at Newport the same year put Golson on the map in a big way. I was never much of a fan of his playing, too derivative of Hawk, but he did temper his enthusiasm with subtlety and humility unlike some other tenors of the time.

neobop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3448
  • BIRD LIVES
Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #11 on: 7 May 2011, 11:40 am »
A little trivia, McCoy Tyner's first big gig was with the Jazztet.  Benny helped launch Blakey to international super stardom with his huge contributions to Blakey's big album "Moanin." That record plus his "I Remember Clifford" with Dizzy at Newport the same year put Golson on the map in a big way. I was never much of a fan of his playing, too derivative of Hawk, but he did temper his enthusiasm with subtlety and humility unlike some other tenors of the time.

I think of Golson primarily as a composer who can play. Yea, he wrote I Remember Clifford and the other standards I mentioned. But much of his playing was before everyone started to sound like Trane. In the mid '50s he played in the Tad Dameron band. The Jazztet was happening around '59 to '61 or so. Trane recorded Kind of Blue with Miles in '58 and was just starting the sheets of sound thing. After the Jazztet, Benny did studio work and composing for TV. Shows like MASH, Mission Impossible - that was Benny. He wasn't on the scene for years after the Jazztet.

The guy that I sometimes don't enjoy listening to is Art Farmer. Art was a good big band player. He played in Lionel Hampton's trumpet section with Clifford Brown and Quincy Jones. You can't compare him to Clifford Brown, that would be unfair. But like some competent section players, his improvisation occasionally was less than adequate. Sometimes he would sound good, and sometimes he sounded like he couldn't play. He had a nice tone on the flugelhorn. In the studio you can keep doing it over till you get a take that you like.
I guess I'm a little surprised about your Golson comment, but said nothing about Farmer.
neo

richidoo

Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #12 on: 7 May 2011, 12:18 pm »
Hi neo!

I said nothing about Farmer because the thread is about Golson. Farmer's lines are very clever and sit well on the horn, a mark of a lot of experience and natural talent. Chet Baker was like that. The lines sat on the horn like butter, so easy yet sound so complex. Farmer was jealous of Clifford's instant success coming out of nowhere, and wanted to be compared with Clifford. They had trumpet duels on Hamp band in Europe. When they got home Clifford was an overnight star and Art dealt with it and stayed positive, finding his own success a little slower. He didn't have the fire or strength to play like morgan, dizzy, brownie, freddie. But within his more eclectic circles he held his own. I saw him at Vanguard in 90s, one of his last gigs. He played only flugel and sounded excellent.

In the early 50s there was JATP, which was extremely popular and influential on young musicians. There were tenor gladiators and showing off for the exploding "bopfad" audience was the point. Golson's style emerged from that, with an old school foundation in Coleman Hawkins, which was very different to the Prez/Bird/Trane school that most of our heroes followed. I appreciate Hawkins but he was a pop star, not a bopper. Likewise, Golson had a populist approach to jazz, and music in general which yielded a great career. His blowing struggled to keep up with the heavies of his early years even though he was close friends with all of them.  But he thrived when he was with improvisors on his own level (Farmer) and a steady stream of youngins', and when his writing was featured.

neobop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3448
  • BIRD LIVES
Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #13 on: 7 May 2011, 10:04 pm »
Hey Rich,
Maybe I'm being a little hard on the memory of Art. I think there was a good reason he didn't take off like Brownie. Trumpet battles in a big band don't have much to do with it. Clifford became a giant in a few short years. Art would never have been able to fill those shoes. Chet Baker either. Entirely different thing.   


I appreciate Hawkins but he was a pop star, not a bopper. Likewise, Golson had a populist approach to jazz, and music in general which yielded a great career. His blowing struggled to keep up with the heavies of his early years even though he was close friends with all of them.  But he thrived when he was with improvisors on his own level (Farmer) and a steady stream of youngins', and when his writing was featured.

Hawk was a pop star? You make that sound like something other than what it was. Bop wasn't invented when he was coming up. Swing was the pop music in the '30s and '40s. Lester said, "As far as I'm concerned, I think Coleman Hawkins was the President first, right? As far as myself, I think I'm the second one."

The Jazztet only lasted a few years. Benny has contributed some great tunes. Look in your fake book. Sure the TV stuff wasn't jazz, but in its way, it was great. You might not want to emulate his earlier playing, but the man is part of history. I wonder what he sounds like now.
neo

richidoo

Re: Benny Golson
« Reply #14 on: 7 May 2011, 10:56 pm »
Look in your fake book.

Good one! ;)