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Benny Golson: New Time, New ’Tet

Nearly a decade after former co-leader Art Farmer’s death, 80-year-old tenor master Benny Golson has rounded up a new Jazztet, writing new charts and charting a distinctly new course for the relaunch. Golson has reconfigured his signature Jazztet with jazz vets who likely first encountered the fabled tracks of 1959-62 on their original vinyl.

The 2009 ‘Tet meshes instantly with Jazz Messenger panache on Steve Davis’ “Grove’s Groove.” Horns harmonize richly on the head as Mike LeDonne clanks a lazy, bluesy vamp underneath. Davis, the youngest lion in this pride, takes the first solo on trombone, soulful and relaxed, before Golson announces himself with just a little more bite. On trumpet, Eddie Henderson is pure nonchalant grace filling Farmer’s shoes before LeDonne kicks things up a notch, seemingly driven to pour all 88 keys into every utterance. We hear from the rest of the rhythm section, Buster Williams soloing formidably on bass, Carl Allen lurking tastefully on drums.

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