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Benny Golson Group: Remembering Clifford

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Benny Golson has produced some of the finest compositions in the hard bop tradition, foremost among them his elegy for Brownie, “I Remember Clifford.” Trading on that is surely Golson’s right, even after 40 years-perhaps because after 40 years-we know for a fact that the tune is a certifiable classic. His reworking of that classic, “Immortal Brown,” leads off this collection, and trumpeter John Swana is a solid choice for such a tribute. Swana’s fluid lines stand out in this ensemble, assembled for the session. If they lack the telepathic channels of a working band, they are solid players one and all, and give Golson’s charts polished performances. Joining Swana on the front line, Golson matches tenors with Ron Blake; pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Joe Farnsworth comprise the rhythm section. The band is joined by Tito Puente and Carlos “Patato” Valdes on Golson’s tribute to the famed timbalero.