Benny Golson

New York Scene

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Benny Golson's debut as a leader was recorded at a time when he was better known as a composer than a tenor saxophonist. This album, reissued during the CD era with "B.G.'s Holiday" added to the original LP program as a bonus track, features Golson in a quintet with fellow future Jazztet co-leader Art Farmer on trumpet, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Charlie Persip on five selections, and with the same group plus four horns on three other songs. The set is most significant for including an early version of Golson's "Whisper Not" (which soon became a jazz standard) along with "Step Lightly," as well as for the leader's inventive and swinging arrangements; plus, there are some excellent solos from Golson and Farmer. Overall, this underrated gem served as a strong start to Benny Golson's influential solo career.

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