TRC

Benny Golson: Free (1963) 1998

Free

Track list:

A1 01. Sock Cha
A2 02. Mad About the Boy
03.A3  Just By Myself

B1 04. Shades of Stein
B2 05. My Romance
B3 06. Just In Time

bonus tracks (*from “Take a Number from 1 to 10” LP):
A-1 07 You’re My Thrill*
A-2 08 My Heart Belongs to Daddy*
A-3 09 The Best Thing For You Is Me*
A-4 10 Impromptune*
A-5 11 Little Karin*
A-6 12 Swing It*

B-1 13 I Fall In Love Too Easily*

tracks not included from “Take a Number from 1 to 10” LP:
B-2 a) Out of This World
B-3 b) The Touch
B-4 c) Time

Personnel:

01-06:
Benny Golson – tenor sax
Tommy Flanagan – piano
Ron Carter – bass
Art Taylor – drums

#07-13:
Benny Golson – tenor sax
with:
Bass: Tommy Williams (8-13)
Drums: Albert Heath (9-13)
Piano: Cedar Walton (10-13)
Trumpet: Freddie Hubbard (11-13)
Trombone: Curtis Fuller (12,13)
Baritone sax: Sahib Shihab (13)

#a,b,c:
Benny Golson – tenor sax
Trumpet: Nick Travis (a,b,c), Bernie Glow (b,c), Art Farmer (c)
French horn: Willie Ruff
Trombone: Bill Elton
Alto sax: Hal McKusick
Baritone sax: Sol Schlinger
Bass: Tommy Williams
Drums: Albert Heath

#01-06:
Released: 1963
Label: Argo – 716

Recorded Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; December 26, 1962
Engineer: Rudy van Gelder
Producer: Esmond Edwards

Cover design: Don Bronstein
Cover painting: Alex Bozickovich

Take a Number from 1 to 10 (1)

#07-13 + a,b,c:
Released: 1961
Label: Argo LP 681

Recorded at Nola’s Penthouse Sound Studio, New York City
07-10: December 13, 1960
11-13: December 14, 1960
a,b,c: April 11, 1961
Engineer: Tommy Nola

Producer: Jack Tracy

This compilation (1998):
Re-issue Producer: Michael Cuscuna
Remastering: Erick Labson
Art Direction, Design: Kerosene Halo

Free (re-issue)

*****

This 1998 CD reissues tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson’s excellent Free album of 1962 plus seven of the ten selections from his Take A Number From 1 To 10 project of 1960.

Although one wishes that both sets could have been re-issued in full (the CD is just 62 minutes long), it is a joy to have Free available again.

Golson’s last album as a leader in which he plays in his Don Byas/Lucky Thompson style (he would soon become a fulltime arranger and, by the time he led his next playing date in 1977, Golson’s sound was quite a bit different) finds him in top form.

Joined by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Art Taylor, Golson performs two originals, Will Davis’ catchy “Sock Cha” and three standards with “Mad About The Boy” and “Just In Time” (during which he sounds a bit like Sonny Rollins) being among the highlights.

The other session found the tenorman playing unaccompanied on a brief “You’re My Thrill” and adding an instrument to each song, up to a tentet on the original album, and a septet here.

The duet rendition of “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” is excellent and trombonist Curtis Fuller makes a strong impression on the speedy “Swing It.”

Despite the three missing tracks, this CD is recommended.
~Scott Yanow [allmusic]

*****

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