Hard bop was at its toughest when Benny Golson (b. 1929) made these recordings with an all-star sextet. Golson and his fellow saxophonist-composer-arranger Gigi Gryce (1927-1983), two of whose tunes are contained herein, brought their respective senses of formalism and harmonic sophistication to what was generally characterized as an elemental musical idiom. That Golson's and Gryce's stocks were rising in December 1957 was apparent not only from this top-notch date (Golson's second as a leader), but by the fact that their tunes were gaining currency in jazz's uppermost echelon. During the same week these sides were cut, Dizzy Gillespie's octet made an album with seven of its eight tunes written by Golson or Gryce (both of whom were also in that unit). Joined here by such hall-of-famers as Kenny Dorham, J.J. Johnson, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Max Roach, Golson later called The Modern Touch "a dream come true."
with Kenny Dorham, J.J. Johnson, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Max Roach