ONE LP@DOCUMENTING JAZZ_2020: Benny Golson: Musician

Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon: Blue 'N' Boogie{quote}Well - I've been around for a long time, and during the time when I got started there were no such things as albums so there were no covers!Cause there was a time of the 78 recording with 3 minute at tops for each recording, so whatever the person was going to present they had to present it within the 3 minute framework.Sometimes you didn't get the bridge of the song and they went out and things like that so they had to gear it for the 3 minutes and that's what I grew up with when I started that's what was going and later the 33 1/3 records came into existence - and they weren't 12 inch LPs they were10 inch LPs! And then later the 12 inch LPs came, yeah.And then later the albums came with the album covers at was much later though - it wasn't in the beginning!I had many heroes in the beginning, my first one was probably Coleman Hawkins and then Don Byas, Ben Webster, Lucky Thompson but then one that really got me down the line was a fella named Dexter Gordon.And he made a recording with Dizzy Gillespie and when I heard that my life changed again - it changed when I first heard the saxophone but when I heard that recording Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon it opened up something else for me cos his style was different from Coleman Hawkins and Don Byas and Ben Webster, it was another sound - even different from Lester Young.Like I said it opened my ears up when I heard that and I started trying to do other things because at that time I didn't have my own interpretation or concept - like money in the bank to reach in and do what you want to do, I had nothing in to reach in to get. So I was eclectic, imitating everyone - piano players, guitar players trying to understand what this thing called jazz is all about.Especially improvisation cos that's what jazz is all about. Nobody comes to hear the melody over and over again - after the first run of the melody they want to know what you've got on your mind musically!And you have to have something to say: you should have - and it takes a while to get to that point.Dexter had something to say in a little different way than the others, and to me, at that time - it's a long time ago - it was pretty hip, pretty hip.And from there you continue keep reaching - reaching then eventually you develop your own sound - whatever that is, and even when you develop your own sound and after a while maybe you even want to modify your own sound maybe wanna hear something else.Then you go through periods like Picasso did you know, like Cezanne came in: with the Cubism - then he went to pointillism and he went through many things.I saw some of the things that he did he did as a student and the anatomy was almost like a photograph - and then later he had one eye up here and one below and the nose over on the side and you maybe ths guy doesn't know anything about anatomy - he did - but he had a different perception as time went on.He went to pointillism which looked like little vertical scratches - I mean incredible what he did!And musically that's what we sort of do as we continue to reach.We think - while we're striving 'at this point' - whatever this point is, 'I'll be satisfied.'But when we get to that point somehow we're not satisfied - we're always striving to best ourselves - to get better at what we do, and to understand our selves better.Because what jazz is all about is improvisation and when you improvise you're bringing into existence things that had no prior existence - it didn't exist.Whether it's 2 notes or whether it's a whole series of notes  - your playing them that particular way did not exist.So you have to have - imagination. If you are going to create something that had no prior existence you have to imagine things - because they don't exist!And that's like an adventure I fancy it's like a big game hunting like a safari but we're only we're not hunting live game - we're hunting new concepts - new ways of doing the old things, new ways of expressing yourself.These extrapolations sometimes are just as important as the new discoveries, because you're bringing new life to it and you're presenting it in another way, Dizzy Gillespie during that time when he was coming up, that's what he was doing - he took the old tunes like 'Whisperin' and putting another melody on the chords and calling it 'Groovin' High'.Tadd Dameron took 'What Is This Thing Called Love' put another melody on the chords and called it 'Hothouse'.So this is an exciting time - 'Ornithology' was 'How High The Moon' and then it went on from that to total different concepts, different titles and different melodies.In the beginning we used the old structures 'What Is This Thing Called Love?', 'Whispering' as time went on we did away with those and came up with our own concepts, that's how I came up with 'Whispering' - 'Stabemates' and whatnot.It wasn't 'What is Thing called Love?' any more - It was something entirely different, but we had to graduate to that point because we were going into areas that didn't exist - and we were like the pioneers goin’ into - opening doors along the corridor to see what's behind these doors.It was like an adventure everyday, couldn't wait to wake up to try again.What can I do today better than I did yesterday?Where am I going?You ask yourself all those questions - what is it I want ? What am I trying to achieve?And sometimes we didn't even know that.Everything was so new - so all those early days were like an adventure.And still today - I'm an old guy today - but I've still have my ears open and I still think there are things I would like to that I haven't done yet even in my old age you know And it's still has that sense of adventure to it - yeah.It's creating things - improvising - what you're doing on an instrument or pen on paper - which is a form of improvising. It's exciting and it's adventurous and I think I'm still a part of that because it still awakens certain things within me creatively and I don't want that to die - I don't want to lose that - if I lose that I might as well get a job as a wash room attendant or selling groceries.Yeah - I love this music called Jazz.And as Sonny Rollins said {quote}There's no end to it.{quote}Nobody says - 'well I'm at the end of it and I don't need to study any more - I know all there is to know.'There is no such thing -and no one person knows everything,so we keep going ahead.Some of it's good, sometimes some of it's bad - stinko, and we reject it start over again but it's a great thing trying to arrive at these things.Oh yeah - and when you achieve it - oh it's like giving birth all over again, we wait in that maternity room and wait for the slap on the butt - it's alive!Yeah - it's an adventure of sorts - yeah - and I'm committed, I really am, and I guess like Sonny Rollins said {quote}There's no end to it.{quote}They ask me a lot of times - {quote}Mr.Golson - what is the favourite tune that you have written.{quote}And my answer's always the same {quote}I haven't written it yet.{quote}There's always something to do.{quote}Benny Golson: The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, 17th September 2015Mr Golson cited a recording of Dizzy Gillespie with Dexter Gordon, I deduced Watson that it's Blue 'N' Boogie.The Dizzy Gillespie Sextet with Dexter Gordon  released 1945Benny GolsonSpecial thanks to Tommy Smith for kindly arranging the session.
Benny Golson: Musician

 

Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon: Blue 'N' Boogie 

"Well - I've been around for a long time, and during the time when I got started there were no such things as albums so there were no covers! 

Cause there was a time of the 78 recording with 3 minute at tops for each recording, so whatever the person was going to present they had to present it within the 3 minute framework. 

Sometimes you didn't get the bridge of the song and they went out and things like that so they had to gear it for the 3 minutes and that's what I grew up with when I started that's what was going and later the 33 1/3 records came into existence - and they weren't 12 inch LPs they were10 inch LPs!  

And then later the 12 inch LPs came, yeah. 

And then later the albums came with the album covers at was much later though - it wasn't in the beginning! 

I had many heroes in the beginning, my first one was probably Coleman Hawkins and then Don Byas, Ben Webster, Lucky Thompson but then one that really got me down the line was a fella named Dexter Gordon. 

And he made a recording with Dizzy Gillespie and when I heard that my life changed again - it changed when I first heard the saxophone but when I heard that recording Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon it opened up something else for me cos his style was different from Coleman Hawkins and Don Byas and Ben Webster, it was another sound - even different from Lester Young. 

Like I said it opened my ears up when I heard that and I started trying to do other things because at that time I didn't have my own interpretation or concept - like money in the bank to reach in and do what you want to do, I had nothing in to reach in to get.  

So I was eclectic, imitating everyone - piano players, guitar players trying to understand what this thing called jazz is all about.Especially improvisation cos that's what jazz is all about. Nobody comes to hear the melody over and over again - after the first run of the melody they want to know what you've got on your mind musically! 

And you have to have something to say: you should have - and it takes a while to get to that point. 

Dexter had something to say in a little different way than the others, and to me, at that time - it's a long time ago - it was pretty hip, pretty hip. 

And from there you continue keep reaching - reaching then eventually you develop your own sound - whatever that is, and even when you develop your own sound and after a while maybe you even want to modify your own sound maybe wanna hear something else. 

Then you go through periods like Picasso did you know, like Cezanne came in: with the Cubism - then he went to pointillism and he went through many things. 

I saw some of the things that he did he did as a student and the anatomy was almost like a photograph - and then later he had one eye up here and one below and the nose over on the side and you maybe ths guy doesn't know anything about anatomy - he did - but he had a different perception as time went on. 

He went to pointillism which looked like little vertical scratches - I mean incredible what he did! 

And musically that's what we sort of do as we continue to reach. 

We think - while we're striving 'at this point' - whatever this point is, 'I'll be satisfied.' 

But when we get to that point somehow we're not satisfied - we're always striving to best ourselves - to get better at what we do, and to understand our selves better. 

Because what jazz is all about is improvisation and when you improvise you're bringing into existence things that had no prior existence - it didn't exist. 

Whether it's 2 notes or whether it's a whole series of notes - your playing them that particular way did not exist. 

So you have to have - imagination. 

If you are going to create something that had no prior existence you have to imagine things - because they don't exist! 

And that's like an adventure I fancy it's like a big game hunting like a safari but we're only we're not hunting live game - we're hunting new concepts - new ways of doing the old things, new ways of expressing yourself. 

These extrapolations sometimes are just as important as the new discoveries, because you're bringing new life to it and you're presenting it in another way,  

Dizzy Gillespie during that time when he was coming up, that's what he was doing - he took the old tunes like 'Whisperin' and putting another melody on the chords and calling it 'Groovin' High'. 

Tadd Dameron took 'What Is This Thing Called Love' put another melody on the chords and called it 'Hothouse'. 

So this is an exciting time - 'Ornithology' was 'How High The Moon' and then it went on from that to total different concepts, different titles and different melodies. 

In the beginning we used the old structures 'What Is This Thing Called Love?', 'Whispering' as time went on we did away with those and came up with our own concepts, that's how I came up with 'Whispering' - 'Stabemates' and whatnot. 

It wasn't 'What is Thing called Love?' any more - It was something entirely different, but we had to graduate to that point because we were going into areas that didn't exist - and we were like the pioneers goin’ into - opening doors along the corridor to see what's behind these doors. 

It was like an adventure everyday, couldn't wait to wake up to try again. 

What can I do today better than I did yesterday? 

Where am I going? 

You ask yourself all those questions - what is it I want ? What am I trying to achieve? 

And sometimes we didn't even know that. 

Everything was so new - so all those early days were like an adventure. 

And still today - I'm an old guy today - but I've still have my ears open and I still think there are things I would like to that I haven't done yet even in my old age you know  

And it's still has that sense of adventure to it - yeah. 

It's creating things - improvising - what you're doing on an instrument or pen on paper - which is a form of improvising. It's exciting and it's adventurous and I think I'm still a part of that because it still awakens certain things within me creatively and I don't want that to die - I don't want to lose that - if I lose that I might as well get a job as a wash room attendant or selling groceries. 

Yeah - I love this music called Jazz. 

And as Sonny Rollins said "There's no end to it." 

Nobody says - 'well I'm at the end of it and I don't need to study any more - I know all there is to know.' 

There is no such thing -and no one person knows everything,so we keep going ahead. 

Some of it's good, sometimes some of it's bad - stinko, and we reject it start over again but it's a great thing trying to arrive at these things. 

Oh yeah - and when you achieve it - oh it's like giving birth all over again, we wait in that maternity room and wait for the slap on the butt - it's alive! 

Yeah - it's an adventure of sorts - yeah - and I'm committed, I really am, and I guess like Sonny Rollins said "There's no end to it." 

They ask me a lot of times - "Mr.Golson - what is the favourite tune that you have written." 

And my answer's always the same "I haven't written it yet." 

There's always something to do." 

Benny Golson: The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, 17th September 2015 

Mr Golson cited a recording of Dizzy Gillespie with Dexter Gordon, I deduced Watson that it's Blue 'N' Boogie. 

The Dizzy Gillespie Sextet with Dexter Gordon released 1945 

Benny Golson 

Special thanks to Tommy Smith for kindly arranging the session.