Benny Golson The Modern Touch (1957)

Track Selection: Out of the Past


Kenny Dorham (tp) J.J. Johnson (tb) Benny Golson (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) Max Roach (d) recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, NYC, December 19, 1957


Track selection composed by Benny in the tradition of a standard, without actually being a standard. Sounds a thoroughly modern approach to me. What a line up! Reads like a super-group of Mainstream Bop. Benny’s second record for Riverside, recorded after his “Benny Golson’s New York Scene”, at the age of 28.

Vinyl: UK Riverside RLP 12-256

White label Twin reels, mono. UK press from 1958

The cover style is – is – so retro its chic!. The brown dralon cover sofa, the coffee table with anorexic legs, the liberal use of orange as a furnishing colour, it’s just so good. And to finish the scene, Benny “wears a tie around the house”.That is style, wearing a tie when you don’t have to. I wore ties every day for forty years, an elegant symbol of the wage-slaves indenture. I haven’t worn one for even a day since leaving behind the world of work. But seeing Benny, you know, I just might…

But this is where Benny went wrong. He is just a hugely talented nice guy always a smile to camera. No heroin-chic, angry, soul-searching angst, no badness, looking like a bouncer in dark glasses outside a questionable nightclub. He looks happy and content, like the music he plays.

Yum yum, UK Riverside pressed by Decca, jolly good.They don’t come much better. Riverside UK switched pressing to Philips around 1961, with the introduction of the Twin reels/ Blue label, and though good, Philips lack the sparkle of Decca.

Collectors Corner

Source: eBay                                                                                                                Sellers grading: “Sleeve is in Poor condition suffering from dirt and damp.Split halfway down seam. Disc is in Near Mint condition”

About the cover. Really, I can explain. Well no, actually, I can’t. How do you manage to get a large red footprint sized on a record sleeve? Mum, the Yeti followed me home and stamped on my records!  The “Vampires-Stole-my-Lunch-Money” defense.

No matter, it saved me a fortune.  The cover is unlaminated, and  had suffered,  and that was enough to put off all other buyers. Musically, I am delighted, Golson at his tip-top best, and where else are you going to get a line up like JJ and Kenny Dorham, and Wynton Kelly as sidesmen, for small change, little more than the postage.

6 thoughts on “Benny Golson The Modern Touch (1957)

  1. Well I can personally testify that Benny Golson is a nice chap since I met him in Stockholm once. The nicest guy ever! And smiling IRL too 😉

  2. I am sure you are right Cyclops, not the only nice guy. I haven’t read many of the biographies so I make no claim to know their real personalities, but I am going on the public image as expressed through their record covers. To show what I mean, I have made up a cover-art story, here:

    What I would love to have is a table of which musicians would pass or fail a drugs test, if anyone has produced one.

  3. C’mon, LJC. Don’t leave people with the impression that Benny Golson was the only nice guy (and not addicted to drugs). There were many more, and some will surprise you, Monk, for instance–as well as Buck Clayton, Roy Eldridge, the Count, Percy Heath, and many more.
    As a group, they were certainly easier to get along with than today’s modern musicians.

  4. I like you, you accept damaged covers in your collection.
    I have the philosophy of shwoing a record respect. You can reestablish this rexpect, when buying a record with damaged cover and appreciate it though.

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