Reviews that mention Benny Golson

November 27, 2006

Dizzy Gillespie

And His U.S. State Department Orchestra
BVHaast/Olfert Dapper OD 001

One of the few times American State Department funds were actually spent on something that benefited the world was in 1956-1957 when they bankrolled tours of Latin America, the Near and the Middle East by a newly organized Dizzy Gillespie big band.

Unfortunately despite enthusiastic acceptance and praise abroad, plus a well-received Newport Jazz Festival gig, politicians who obviously felt it was more important to spend taxpayers’ money on nuclear armaments and clandestine spying got the money rescinded and the band broke up. MORE

March 14, 2005


With Malice Toward None

Capri 74068-2

Two generations of interconnected trombonists/composers get their due on these multi-faceted tributes which not only showcase some of their newer compositions plus their established standards but figuratively stick a ‘bone slide into the eye of the neo-cons.

Tom McIntosh (born 1927) and Grachan Moncur III (born 1937) were respected writers and soloists in the 1950s and 1960s (McIntosh) and 1960s and 1970s (Moncur) with a clutch of big names. McIntosh either played with or wrote compositions for James Moody, the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet and Dizzy Gillespie; Moncur’s best-known associations were with the Jazztet, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean and tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp. MORE

August 22, 2002

RAT RACE BLUES: The Musical Life of Gigi Gryce

By Noal Cohen & Michael Fitzgerald
Berkeley Hills Books

Romantic music par excellence, jazz is rife with myths about legends who suddenly burst onto the scene, dominated jazz consciousness for a time, then just as swiftly disappear, their vaporization related to drugs, alcohol, violence and sex -- or some combination of all three.

Lee Morgan, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Bix Beiderbecke and Lester Young are most prominent among the ranks of these fallen idols, whose numbers can be multiplied tenfold. Alto saxophonist/composer Gigi Gryce, a devout Muslim who never drank liquor or smoked anything, makes this list by default. He had been so prominent on the New York scene from 1953 to 1962, and vanished so completely afterwards, that many were sure that his story fit the mold. MORE