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Benny Golson: Setting Standards

C. Andrew Hovan By

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AAJ: Most recently I read that you are finalizing a textbook and an autobiography.

BG: Actually the autobiography is finished and my attorney is trying get a publishing deal on it and I'm finalizing the text book by putting examples in so we'll see what happens with that.

AAJ: Who do you currently play with?

BG: It depends on who is free. I usually use Buster Williams on bass. I usually use Mike LeDonne or Mulgrew Miller on piano and Carl Allen is usually my drummer. If I have a fifth man it's usually Curtis Fuller on trombone or Eddie Henderson on trumpet or Randy Brecker or someone like that.

AAJ: In his later years organist Bill Doggett used to come through Cleveland a lot and I got to know him quite well. I remember at one point asking him if he ever considered cutting back on his schedule or retiring and he commented that he intended to keep playing up until the final moments. How about yourself, do you see a time when you'll retire?

BG: I feel pretty much the same for as long as I can. When my body tells me that I can no longer do it, then I have to listen. But now, it's obeying me pretty much. When I have to start obeying it, then it might be time.



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