Born: January 25, 1929 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Multitalented and internationally famous jazz legend, - a composer, arranger, lyricist, producer - and tenor saxophonist of world note, Benny Golson was born in Philadelphia, PA on January 25, 1929.
Raised with an impeccable musical pedigree, Golson has played in the bands of world famous Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Earl Bostic and Art Blakey.
Few jazz musicians can claim to be true innovators and even fewer can boast of a performing and recording career that literally redefines the term jazz. Benny Golson has made major contributions to the world of jazz with such jazz standards as: Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Along Came Betty, Stablemates, Whisper Not, Blues March, Five Spot After Dark, Are you Real?
Benny Golson is the only living jazz artist to have written 8 standards for jazz repertoire. These jazz standards have found their way into countless recordings internationally over the years and are still being recorded.
He has recorded over 30 albums for many recording companies in the United States and Europe under his own name and innumerable ones with other major artists. A prodigious writer, Golson has written well over 300 compositions.
For more than 50 years, Golson has enjoyed an illustrious, musical career in which he has not only made scores of recordings but has also composed and arranged music for:
Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Mama Cass Elliott, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Shirley Horn, David Jones and the Monkees, Quincy Jones, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Anita O'Day, Itzhak Perlman, Oscar Peterson, Lou Rawls, Mickey Rooney, Diana Ross, The Animals (Eric Burden), Mel Torme, George Shearing, Dusty Springfield
His prolific writing includes scores for hit TV series and films:
M*A*S*H, Mannix, Mission Impossible, Mod Squad, Room 222, Run for Your Life, The Partridge Family, The Academy Awards, The Karen Valentine Show, Television specials for ABC, CBS and NBC Television specials for BBC in London and Copenhagen, Denmark Theme for Bill Cosby's last TV show, A french film 'Des Femmes Disparaissent (Paris)
He has written music for national radio and television spots for some of the major advertising agencies in the country. Some of these commercials were for:
Borateem, Canada Dry, Carnation, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Clorox, Dodge, General Telephone, Gillette, Heinz Foods, Jack in The Box, Liquid Plum'r, MacDonald's, Mattel Toys, Monsanto, Nissan, Ohrbachs, Ore-Ida Frozen Potatoes, Parliament Cigarettes, Pepsi Cola, Texaco
Benny Golson has absolute mastery of the jazz medium. He has not only blazed a trail in the world of jazz but is passionate abuot teaching jazz to young and old alike. He has lectured at the Lincoln Center through a special series by Wynton Marsalis. He has lectured to doctoral candidates at New York University and to the faculty at National University at San Diego.
Honored with doctorates from William Paterson College, Wayne, NJ and Berklee School of Music, Boston, MA, Dr. Golson has also conducted workshops and clinics at at various universities throughout the United States.
Golson's musical odyssey has taken him around the world. In 1987 he was sent by the US State Department on a cultural tour of Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore. Later, Philip Morris International sent him on an assignment to Bangkok, Thailand to write music for the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.
A live performer who consistently knocks audiences off their feet, Benny Golson has given hundreds of performances in USA, Europe, South America, Far East and Japan for decades.
Awards:Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
Mellon Living Legend Legacy Award
University of Pittsburgh International Academy of Jazz Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award
The Modern Touch (Fantasy Records, 1957)
The Other Side of Benny Golson (Original Jazz Classics, 1958)
Groovin' With Golson (Fantasy Records, 1959)
Gone With Golson (Original Jazz Classics, 1959)
Gettin' With It (Original Jazz Classics, 1959)
Meet the Jazztet (Geffen, 1960)
Stockholm Sojourn (Original Jazz Classics, 1964)
Up, Jumped. Spring (LRC Ltd., 1990)
Up Jumped Benny (Arkadia Jazz, 1997)
Tenor Legacy (Arkadia Jazz, 1998)
Tune In Turn On To The Hippest Commercials of the Sixties (Verve Records, 1999)
That's Funky (Arkadia Jazz, 2000)
One Day Forever (Arkadia Jazz, 2001)
Terminal 1 (Concord Records, 2004)
Free (Argo Records, 2004)
Turning Point (Verve Records, 2005)
The Masquerade Is Over (Azzurra Music, 2005)
The Many Moods of Benny Golson (Arkadia Jazz, 2007)
Take A Number From 1 to 10 (Verve Records, 2007)
Three Little Words (Synergie OMG, 2007)
New Time New 'Tet (Concord Music Group 2009)
The Best Of Benny Golson (Concord Music Group 2009)
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