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Benny Golson’s New CD and Movie Role

On June 22, Concord Records will release saxophonist and jazz-standard fountainhead Benny Golson’s Terminal 1, an album inspired by the forthcoming Steven Spielberg film of the same name that will star Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci and. . .Golson. Premiering in theaters June 18, the film has Hanks’ character searching for Golson in order to get the venerable jazzman’s autograph for a historic jazz photo; the saxophonist will make a cameo appearance, and a musical performance, in the film.

Terminal 1-the album-is a quintet record featuring trumpeter Eddie Henderson, pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Buster Williams, drummer Carl Allen and Golson, who wrote three new tunes for the disc, including the title track, which the saxophonist says “symbolizes the comings and goings of people in all airports around the world.” Golson elaborates: “The drums represent the crowds of people and seem to have a free, loose reign during the opening strains and the playing of the melody, which accompanies the crowd (drums) here, and also during the first chorus of each solo. You’ll notice that the mood fluctuates between a laid-back pulse to a pressing, straightahead 4/4 feeling, indicating that nothing is ever exactly the same in any airport. The piece ends with the diminishing sound of the drums-airport crowd murmur, if you will-as we slowly pull away pursuing the clouds in mid heaven.”

Golson’s other new offerings are “Caribbean Drifting,” an effervescent line with a feeling akin to Jamaican mento folk music, and “Our Last Goodbye,” the latest in a distinguished line of bittersweet Golson ballads.

Golson has re-recorded a few of his bigger tunes for Terminal 1 as well. “Killer Joe” and “Park Avenue Petite” come from Golson and flugelhornist Art Farmer’s 1960 MCA date Meet the Jazztet, and “Blues March” was first heard on drummer Art Blakey’s Moanin’ (Blue Note), made in 1958 when Golson was a member of Blakey’s Messengers.

The rest of the forthcoming album’s tracks are by other famous composers: Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way,” Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight,” Don Redman’s “Cherry” and Maceo Pinkard’s “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

“[‘Sweet Georgia Brown’] was the tune that seemed to prove a musician’s mettle back in Philadelphia when so many of us were starting out,” Golson says. “During the first half of the melody [in this new version] I use a battery of substitute chords accompanied by a 2/4 beat, all remaining sections are straightahead 4/4 with no alterations.”

Also of note: Mosaic Records is preparing a 7-CD box set for an August release that compiles Golson’s early recordings with Art Farmer titled The Complete Argo/Mercury Art Farmer Benny Golson Jazztet Sessions.

Originally Published