Benny Golson has made many excellent recordings over the decades, but One Day, Forever is in a class by itself. Golson was inspired to write the striking title track following the death of Art Farmer's wife Mechthilde, and he later added a poignant lyric. Shirley Horn's exquisite vocal on this lush ballad is backed by a string section of 12 cellos plus a flute and a pair of French horns conducted by the leader; it also includes Golson's soulful tenor sax and a first-rate rhythm section of Mulgrew Miller, Ron Carter, and Carl Allen. Probably to achieve the exact sound Golson had in mind, Farmer temporarily sets down the flumpet (a custom-made hybrid of the trumpet and flügelhorn that he played almost exclusively from 1992 until his death) and adds his trumpet to six tracks, including the snappy "Blue Walk"; he plays his muted horn in a strutting remake of Golson's well-known "Killer Joe" and rekindles the old Jazztet fires with Golson and trombonist Curtis Fuller on the driving "Blues Alley." The rhythm section supporting this group includes pianist Geoff Keezer (who had previously worked with Farmer), bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. The final track, "On Gossamer Wings," is a classical piece composed by Golson and performed by pianist Lara Downes; this intriguing work for solo piano provides a emotional conclusion to a wide-ranging and highly recommended CD.
One Day, Forever Review
by Ken Dryden