In the mid-- to-late-1950s the rise of "soul-jazz," and the commercial success of Jimmy Smith, one of its bellwethers, led to a spate of talented fellow organists such as Brother Jack McDuff being signed to record label deals.But how to expand the organ's appeal beyond the taverns and clubs across urban America? One way to bring the uptown sound to midtown ears was to augment popular organist-led groups, like McDuff's crackling quartet featuring Red Holloway's saxophone and young George Benson's guitar, with orchestral backing. McDuff (born Eugene McDuffy; 1926-2001) and company couldn't have asked for a more empathetic arranger than Benny Golson, whose writing and tenor playing with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers was at once steeped in driving blues-and-gospel-rooted soul-jazz and harmonic sophistication. Here, the versatile Golson, with the cream of New York's jazz-studio crop at his disposal, tailors his voicings to a wide range of material. With the leader similarly eliciting an array of sounds from his instrument, Prelude's classical pieces, Broadway and Hollywood favorites, Motown and Burt Bacharach hits, and blues-based originals are equally swinging and polished.
with George Benson, Joe Dukes, Red Holloway, Pat Martino, Harold Ousley