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Benny Golson: Terminal 1

Of the many accolades saxophonist/composer Benny Golson has accrued over the years, the latest is certain to result in the most visibility: an invitation from film director Steven Spielberg to play his horn and perform a cameo role in the film The Terminal. Terminal 1 is Golson’s return tribute to the jazz-loving Spielberg.

While the mood-shifting title tune appears to relate directly to the film (Golson says it “symbolizes the comings and goings of people in airports around the world”), the other tracks consist of well-known gems by the saxophonist and others, along with a couple of new Golson compositions. The former include updated versions of Golson’s “Killer Joe,” “Blues March” and “Park Avenue Petite” as well as Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way” (which Golson calls “one of the most beautiful tunes in jazz”), Don Redman’s “Cherry” and a partially reharmonized “Sweet Georgia Brown.” The brand new tunes are “Caribbean Drifting,” a jaunty Sonny Rollins-like calypso and “Our Last Goodbye,” the latest in a long line of gorgeous Golson melodies.

As a player, Golson remains an awesome modern mainstream improviser, able to craft captivating and emotion-laden melodic lines while sailing through the chord changes with the ease afforded by his ultrasharp composer’s ear. Compatible colleagues-trumpeter Eddie Henderson, pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Carl Allen-provide top quality support throughout.

Originally Published