Personnel: Benny Golson (tenor saxophone); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Ray Bryant (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Art Blakey (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on August 28, 1959. Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1992, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
GROOVIN' WITH GOLSON brings saxophonist Benny Golson together with trombonist Curtis Fuller. (They would later work together in the Jazztet.) As renowned for his writing as his playing, Golson contributes two originals to this set--a smooth blues tune entitled "My Blues House" and the up-tempo bop sizzler "The Stroller." (Golson composed for Dizzy Gillespie's band and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers during his tenure with those groups in the mid-to-late-1950s.) The slyly melodic "Drum Boogie" is great fun, as is the gentle take on Rodgers & Hart's "I Didn't Know What Time It Was." A seductive reading of "Yesterdays" rounds out the set.
Golson's mellow tone on the tenor never betrays the intensity or velocity of his chops--he can burn through changes on the faster cuts, then downshift with ease to a smoky, romantic feel on ballads. Fuller, one of the most distinctive trombonists since J.J. Johnson, plays beautifully throughout. (The precision of his playing makes the fact that he's playing a slide instrument nearly impossible to detect.) In-the-cut support from pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Art Blakey make this a solid hard-bop outing from Prestige's classic era.