Benny Golson

Benny Golson and the Philadelphians

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The title of this 1998 CD reissue is a little inaccurate. This set does have a six-song session with the all-Philadelphia crew of tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Philly Joe Jones. But there are also four numbers from a month later in which Golson and pianist Bobby Timmons are joined by a trio of Frenchmen: trumpeter Roger Guerin (who was actually the date's leader), bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Christian Garros. Ironically, the previous Swing LP had the equally inaccurate title of Benny Golson In Paris; the first date was actually cut in New York. In any case, the music is quite enjoyable, and the two dates match well together. Golson, Morgan and Bryant take excellent solos on three Golson tunes and one apiece by Bryant, John Lewis ("Afternoon In Paris") and Gigi Gryce. The French session finds the band performing four numbers from the Jazz Messengers songbook: "Stablemates" (which is on both dates), "Moanin'," "I Remember Clifford" and "Blues March." Guerin sounds fine filling in for Lee Morgan. Throughout, Golson is at the peak of his playing ability, and he often emerges as the solo star. Recommended for hard bop collectors.

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