Benny Golson and the Philadelphians (1958) United Artists

Golson-philly-front-cover-1600-LJC

Track Selection: You’re Not The Kind (Gryce)

Artists

Lee Morgan (tp) Benny Golson (ts) Ray Bryant (p) Percy Heath (b) Philly Joe Jones (d)Nola’s Penthouse Sound Studios, NYC, November 17, 1958

Philadelphia

Just across the river from New Jersey, soon to be home of Grover Washington Jr, grandfather of Smooth Jazz, and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, whose records stray with irritating regularity into Ebay searches  for “Blue Note” (no relation).

Music

Benny Golson here adding The Arranger string to his bow, to mix metaphors for this fine energetic tenor saxophonist, best remembered for his stint with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers ( that great solo in “Moanin'”) and his later pairing with Art Farmer in the precision-bop Jazztet. Golson went on to a succesful career as a composer/ arranger in film and television, leaving behind a great catalogue of original compositions, and unlike his many peers, always seen smiling on his album covers.

Morgan’s glittering silvery trumpet continues to delight, Ray Bryant matches the high energy of the other lead players, and how could one not include “Philly Joe” Jones on drums, and Percy Heath, the heartbeat of MJQ. Just because you are not Sonny Rollins or Bud Powell doesn’t mean you can’t play great jazz, and these Philadelphians swing and cook with the best.

Vinyl: United Artists UAL 4020

US second or subsequent pressing (thanks for correct attribution Bob!) probably early Sixties. The original from 1958 pictured right, poached from Popsike.

Deep groove, pressed by Plastylite NJ (ear). Rich room-filling weighty mono, though a little light in the top-end compared with RVG Blue Notes.

The Matrix: UA 4076 A/B and ear! Plastylite NJ pressing. Revisiting an earlier posting on United Artists Bill Evans album  “Undercurrent” UA used Plastylite for some pressings.  A first for me.

Second Cover:The less said about the second cover the better: typography-for-beginners class, repeated in monochrome on the rear. And a couple of paragraphs short of a full set of liner notes.

Collectors Corner

Source: Ebay Location: UK

Sellers description: COVER VG+ HAS IMPORT STICKER ON FRONT WHICH COULD EASILY BE REMOVED, RECORD CONDITION NEAR MINT

“Near Mint” visually, though a small degree of surface noise which is a common feature of some United Artists vinyl, which have more surface noise than the condition suggests.

United Artists Jazz can be great value to the collector-listener as it does not have the cachet (or price!) of Blue Note and Prestige, yet their portfolio of releases from the late 50’s and early 60’s features many of the same artists and includes many fine unique recordings (Duke Ellington The Money Jungle, Bill Evans Undercurrent, Kenny Dorham Matador etc). And occasionally, Plastylite pressing.

UA Jazz was an arm of the original United Artists Inc, A&R led by music Svengali Alan Douglas. Not to be confused with the later corporate entity United Artists Music and Records Group of the Seventies, who went on to exploit Blue Notes back catalogue with mixed results, before giving up the ghost entirely and handing it over to EMI – the Evil Music Industry, for a song.

Note: Post updated 11th September 2012 – attribution corrected courtesy of BD (see comments)

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13 thoughts on “Benny Golson and the Philadelphians (1958) United Artists

  1. I have an original red label mono of this and I am listening to it presently. There’s a small water stain the bottom of the jacket, sounds absolutely flawless. I’m only the second owner, the original owner initials JC row chasing 59 on the back of the jacket. All the records I bought at the estate sale from this place and his two initials plus the year he bought the record, so obviously bought it brand-new. You will being frustrated to hear how little I paid for it. It was three box. I have an original red label mono of this and I am listening to it presently. There’s a small water stain the bottom of the jacket, sounds absolutely flawless. I am only the second owner, the original owner initials JC row chasing 59 on the back of the jacket. All the records I bought at the estate sale from this place have his two initials plus the year he bought the record, so obviously bought it brand-new. You will being frustrated to hear how little I paid for it. It was three bucks, purchased 2 days ago.

    • The thought has crossed my mind that more jazz collectors shuffling off this mortal coil, is, of course, a tragedy for them, but a bonus for the rest of us. Puts records back into circulation.

      Each record in my collection is valued in a database, which Mrs LJC is appraised of, so she does not sell herself short in this way. Sounds to me the Estate probate team fell somewhat short of professional standards, however it was your good fortune.

      Should any jazz collectors out there be on their last knockings, I have a team of people waiting for their call (trained in end-of-life counselling and valuing collectable vinyl)

  2. I hate to be a party-pooper, but this DEFINITELY ISN’T the original first American mono pressing of the album (neither the labels, nor the cover are). The original 1958 United Artist pressings had a slightly textured (nibbed) white cover with pink and orange lettering and not much else other than the title and the catalog number (it definitely did NOT have a “four riders” sketch on either side of the cover.

    The original mono pressing of this title was on original red Uni/Arts label with black letters (corresponding stereo release was on turquoise label). Both formats were deep groove pressings. Original stereo copies are SIGNIFICANTLY rarer than monos, this being one of the first Jazz stereo albums (1958 popular stereo titles are just about unheard of)

    The shown specimen is a second pressing circa 1963/64 (conceivably even a third, assuming that there was an intermediary pressing circa 1960/61 on black label with multicolored “radial” lines across the edge of the label, which I have no recollection of seeing).

    • Forensic analysis faultless, thank you Bob. Post corrected. Fortunately the auction price was modest, and on reflection, about right.
      We dig for gold, and sometimes all we come up with is silver.

      However I think your opening gambit “I hate to be a party pooper” would not likely pass a lie detector test.

  3. My least favorite “have to accept” aspect of a NM LP is when 99% of the record has played perfectly, and then a small almost undetectable skip occurs right as side 2 is ending. I scored a nice copy of Monk’s Brilliant Corners that plays beautifully…no crackle or other noise that I can detect besides a pop somewhere on side 1…and then exactly one measure of Bemsha Swing is missing, only about 9 bars from the end of the tune…darn.

    • If it is dirt that makes it skip it can usually be removed. Avery fine needle can in the right hands make wonders. Take out the magnifier!

        • It’s like when you ask hedgehogs how they make love 😉

          Well, first you have to make sure why the LP skips – preferably with a very good concentrated magnifying glass (lupp) or microscope. The grooves can be for example very close to eachother and bad tracking or too much antiscating or too less can make the needle skip either way. The you should just leave it and adjust antiscating for that LP or momentarily increase needle pressure for that song. You get the picture. It’s just the pressing that’s bad or very challenging.

          However if there really is something there stuck in the grooves try first to remove it by applying a soft nylon brush locally. If it’s paper residue from old pressings som clean water can dissolve it. Probably you get the same result with a regular record cleaner. If it won’t come off my last resort has been the needle method which is indeed brave and a risk of doing more harm than good.

          In a couple of cases I’ve had LPs (lately a Blue Note late Turrentine) that plays perfectly except for this one skip that is usually start with a pop groving bigger every revelation until it skips. There was some dirt there that could not be removed. So the theory is to help the needle get through the hard part by either removing the problem or cutting a new track in it.

          So what I’ve done is to is to very gently and steadily drag the sharp needle just like a cartridge needle a couple of times where the problem is – dirt or what it may be. I point he needle tip towards me and gently drag away from me in a 45 degree angle. Do not move the needle forward or vertically. That way is to sharp on the grooves and the needle just damages the grooves. You must use a magnifier so that you are exactly in the right spot and not outside.

          If you are very lucky the residue just pops off and the LP plays great but most likely you will hear that there is a momentary problem for a couple of revelations but if the LP plays through it might be worth a try.

          In all honesty I’ve had one failure whre it did not make anything better and the LP still skips;-(

          • Thanks for that introduction – to do-it-yourself brain surgery! I have a needle stick and I have a loup. I’ll take just the first step for now – see what exactly is happening at groove level. How can you make it worse – it already sticks.

    • From what I heard, Dottore, the 100,000th page viewer will win a prize in cash (close to $ 6,000) with which the winner can bid on the very first ‘near mint’ 1568 he/she can find on eBay… 😉

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