All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

9

Benny Golson: Horizon Ahead

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
At age eighty-seven, saxophonist Benny Golson is one of the last surviving links to the Golden Age of modern jazz, ushered in by the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke and others in the early '40s. Golson came on the bop scene about a decade later and has been a force ever since, whether playing, composing, arranging, buttressing Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers or leading groups of various sizes. In 1956, Golson wrote "Whisper Not," the first of several of his works that may properly be labeled jazz standards. That list includes (but is not limited to) "I Remember Clifford," "Blues March," "Along Came Betty" and "Killer Joe."

On tenor sax, Golson has his own voice, a husky, vibrato-laden dialect out of the Ben Webster / Coleman Hawkins school with an occasional nod to Lester Young and subtle permutations that set him apart from those and other forebears. If time has dulled Golson's razor-sharp mind or degraded his admirable technique, it's certainly not apparent on Horizon Ahead, on which Golson is in total command of a much-more-youthful rhythm section. To further press home the point, he composed four of the album's nine selections including the title song, (presumably) arranged the first eight tracks, and even wrote the elaborate liner notes.

Aside from Golson's winning themes, the menu consists of Ellington's "Mood Indigo" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," the standards "Lulu's Back in Town" and "Three Little Words," and Carl Allen's solo drum piece, "Out of the Darkness, and Into the Light" (the last preceded by Golson's astute spoken introduction). There's a pleasing aura of self-assurance and self-control throughout, even when Golson and his mates are wailing, as on "Jump Start," "Domingo" or "Three Little Words." Pianist Mike LeDonne plays his role as accompanist / soloist with aplomb, as does bassist Buster Williams (who duets with Golson on a charming version of "Lulu's Back in Town"). Allen's timekeeping is up to its usual standards, so no more need be said about that.

At an age that is far past retirement for most mortals, Benny Golson not only keeps working but showing a younger generation that when it comes to contemporary jazz, maturity and experience are dependable allies in the ongoing battle with Father Time. It is, of course, a battle that can never be won, but Golson proves on Horizon Ahead that when his time comes, he'll definitely go down swinging.

Track Listing: Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Jump Start; Horizon Ahead; Mood Indigo; Domingo; Lulu’s Back in Town; Night Shade; Three Little Words; Spoken Introduction; Out of the Darkness and Into the Light.

Personnel: Benny Golson: tenor saxophone; Mike LeDonne: piano; Buster Williams: bass; Carl Allen: drums.

Title: Horizon Ahead | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: OA2 Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Begin the Agora CD/LP/Track Review
Begin the Agora
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Time Like This CD/LP/Track Review
Time Like This
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Under One Moon CD/LP/Track Review
Under One Moon
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Doubles, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Doubles, Vol. 1
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Outsidethebox CD/LP/Track Review
Outsidethebox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 16, 2018
Read There Are Stars In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review
There Are Stars In Brooklyn
by James Fleming
Published: October 16, 2018
Read "My One And Only Love: Live at Theater Gütersloh" CD/LP/Track Review My One And Only Love: Live at Theater Gütersloh
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 11, 2018
Read "Lost Days" CD/LP/Track Review Lost Days
by Don Phipps
Published: August 16, 2018
Read "Alive" CD/LP/Track Review Alive
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 16, 2018
Read "John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring - Live in San Francisco
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 8, 2018
Read "Walk The Walk" CD/LP/Track Review Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Obsidian" CD/LP/Track Review Obsidian
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2018