Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Signals" CD/LP/Track Review Signals
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Fellowship" CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Rebirth" CD/LP/Track Review Rebirth
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor