Reference: FSRCD 750
These two relatively rare early-60s Benny Golson albums catch him in powerful form. The tenor saxophonist had by then absorbed his original Don Byas-Lucky Thompson-Coleman Hawkins influences into a distinctively personal style which also showed he had listened to Sonny Rollins and Ben Webster. And, spurred on by two exceptional rhythm sections, he is emphatically his own man, delivering a series of fine solos on both albums.
The first, Turning Point, is marked by a considerable degree of excellent playing and stimulating interchanges, particularly involving a vibrant Wynton Kelly and the sheer lift and drive generated by Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. About the second albums title Free, Golson explained that, it does not mean free in the sense of abstraction or surrealism but rather as an opportunity to work within the framework of a quartet which offers me many more possibilities for exploring my horn. On it Tommy Flanagan contributes some gemlike solos and comps brilliantly, while Ron Carter and Art Taylor complete a supply supportive rhythm section. Throughout, the rich melodic content of Golsons solos and his vigorous attack are signal virtues of two rewarding albums.
01. How Am I to Know? (Parker-King) 3:47
02. The Masquerade Is Over (Magidson-Wrubel) 4:37
03. Dear Kathy (Golson) 4:46
04. Three Little Words (Ruby-Kalmar) 4:37
05. Turning Point (Golson) 3:55
06. Stella by Starlight (Young-Washington) 4:49
07. Alone Together (Howard Dietz-Walter Schwartz) 7:30
08. Sock Cha Cha (Davis) 7:01
09. Mad About the Boy (Coward) 7:16
10. Just by Myself (Golson) 5:47
11. Shades of Stein (Golson) 4:30
12. My Romance (Rodgers-Hart) 7:27
13. Just In Time (Comden-Green) 5:56
Tracks #1-7, from the album "Turning Point" (Mercury SR 60801)
Tracks #8-13, from the album "Free" (Argo LP-716)
Personnel on "Turning Point":
Benny Golson (ts), Wynton Kelly (p), Paul Chambers (b), Jimmy Cobb (d).
Recorded in New York City, October 30 & 31 & November 1, 1962
Personnel on "Free":
Benny Golson (ts), Tommy Flanagan (p), Ron Carter (b), Art Taylor (d).
Recorded in New York City, December, 1962
Original recordings produced by Jack Tracy (Mercury) and Esmond Edwards (Argo)
Cover art designs by George Roth (Mercury) and Alex Bozickovich (Argo)
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Notes on "Turning Point":
"Renamed Turning Point upon one of its reissues, this quartet set for tenor saxophonist Benny Golson was the beginning of the close of an era. Within a year, Golson would be working full-time as a writer in the studios, and he de-emphasized his playing until making a comeback in the late 1970s. Golson is heard on this LP for one of the last times playing in his original Don Byas/Lucky Thompson-influenced style. Joined by pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb, Golson performs two originals, plus five superior standards, including "How Am I To Know," "Three Little Words" and "Alone Together." A rewarding but sadly out-of-print set."
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide