Sunday, November 6, 2011

Benny Golson - Free (1998) [GRP/Chess]

Benny Golson - Free (1998) [GRP/Chess]
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Genre ~ Hard Bop | Label ~ GRP/Chess

This 1998 CD reissues tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson's excellent Free album of 1962 plus seven of the ten selections from his Take A Number From 1 To 10 project of 1960. Although one wishes that both sets could have been reissued in full (the CD is just 62 minutes long), it is a joy to have Free available again. Golson's last album as a leader in which he plays in his Don Byas/Lucky Thompson style (he would soon become a fulltime arranger and, by the time he led his next playing date in 1977, Golson's sound was quite a bit different) finds him in top form. Joined by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Art Taylor, Golson performs two originals, Will Davis' catchy "Sock Cha" and three standards with "Mad About The Boy" and "Just In Time" (during which he sounds a bit like Sonny Rollins) being among the highlights. The other session found the tenorman playing unaccompanied on a brief "You're My Thrill" and adding an instrument to each song, up to a tentet on the original album, and a septet here. The duet rendition of "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" is excellent and trombonist Curtis Fuller makes a strong impression on the speedy "Swing It." Despite the three missing tracks, this CD is recommended. ~Allmusic

01. Sock Cha (7:05)
02. Mad About the Boy (7:20)
03. Just by Myself (5:52)
04. Shades of Stein (4:34)
05. My Romance (7:31)
06. Just in Time (6:00)
07. You're My Thrill (1:40)
08. My Heart Belongs to Daddy (4:15)
09. The Best Thing for You is Me (2:53)
10. Impromptune (3:07)
11. Little Karin (3:40)
12. Swing It (4:30)
13. I Fall in Love Too Easily (4:48)

Benny Golson - tenor saxophone (on all tracks)
Sahib Shihab - baritone saxophone (#13)
Freddie Hubbard - trumpet (#11-13)
Curtis Fuller - trombone (#12-13)
Tommy Flanagan - piano (#1-6)
Cedar Walton - piano (#10-13)
Ron Carter - bass (#1-6)
Tommy Williams - bass (#8-13)
Art Taylor - drums (#1-6)
Albert "Tootie" Heath - drums (#9-13)

Tracks #1-6:
Recorded December 26, 1962 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs; New Jersey
Produced by Esmond Edwards
Recording Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Originally issued as "Free" (Argo 716)

Tracks #7-13
Recorded December 13 & 14, 1960 at Nola's Penthouse in New York City.
Produced by Jack Tracy
Recording Engineer: Tommy Nola
Originally issued as part of "Take a Number from One to Ten" (Argo 681)

All source material for this digital reissue has been newly transferred from
analog master tapes and original session tapes preserved in the MCA vaults.

Thanks to the original releaser.