Benny Golson


Song Review by

As might be expected from its great composer, "Stablemates" features Benny Golson peppering his incendiary tenor saxophone exchanges with his drummer, with twisting, harmonically complex lines, funky riffs, and sly samples of melodies from great favorites during the improvisations. The song was composed in 1955 and first appeared on the album titled High Step by Miles Davis alumnus bassist Paul Chambers. Later that year, it was recorded by Miles Davis on his Original Quintet album and, in 1956, Dizzy Gillespie added it to his live recording, Dizzy in Greece. The song was inspired by the composer's and his fellow musicians' ability to remain "stable" despite the economic downturns that pressured many jazz musicians to abandon their creative endeavors as a result of the fluctuation in jazz styles and trends during the '50s in the U.S.A. It is one of eight standards composed for the jazz repertoire by Benny Golson, who remains the only living composer to have written as many. "Stablemates" currently appears on over 55 albums and CDs and has been included on albums and CDs by artists as musically diverse as saxophonist Stan Getz and trumpeter Chet Baker (Quintessence Vol. 1), Eric Alexander (Stablemates in 1995), Tito Puente (Special Delivery), and bassist Ron Carter (Mr. Bow Tie in 1995). The composer re-recorded it on Up Jumped Benny in 1996 and gave listeners nearly nine minutes of great blowing and hard-swinging jazz with drummer Carl Allen, Kevin Hays on piano, and bassist Dwayne Burno as his disciples in a "live" performance recorded in Switzerland in 1996. This CD happened to be the composer's debut on the brand new Arkadia Jazz recording label and, to this day, this recording of "Stablemates" remains the most popular version.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Benny Golson and the Philadelphians 1958 Blue Note 8:07
Benny Golson Quartet 1990 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 10:58
Jamey Aebersold Jazz: Benny Golson 2000
Various Artists
Jamey Aebersold 4:10
Saxophone Legends [LRC Ltd] 2002
Various Artists
Lester Recording Catalog / LRC Records 10:56
The Classic Albums Collection: 1957-1962 2017 Enlightenment / Enlightenment Series 5:47