Benny Golson

Up Jumped Benny

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Benny Golson had not appeared on an American jazz label in a long time, so Bob Karcy of Arkadia Jazz stepped in where others feared to tread, issuing this live gig from a jazz club somewhere in Switzerland on the last day of a tour. Armed with a rhythm section of competent young players (Kevin Hays, piano; Dwayne Burno, bass; Carl Allen, drums), Golson takes his dusky tenor sax tone frequently into Coltrane extended harmonic country when the tempos are up, his head figuratively in the clouds above the occasionally combustible trio. Yet he also ruminates in an almost withdrawn manner at ballad tempo on a lengthy treatment of his jazz standard "I Remember Clifford," concluding with a quiet solo elegy for Brownie based on a tenor (the vocal species) aria from Puccini's Tosca. Stanley Crouch's liner notes are full of his usual respect-your-elders blather and the sound quality is boxy, but Golson's fans will feel fortunate to have this.

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