One Day, Forever represents a musical reunion for Benny Golson with some former band mates, most notably Art Farmer and Curtis Fuller of the immortal Jazztet. The album samples some of Golson’s most impressive compositions as well as arrangements played in three distinct formats.
‘Killer Joe’ is from the Jazztet era and likely the most recognizable tune on this album. In the original Jazztet form, Killer Joe was a slick, silk suited pimp that strut his stuff along the street. It was hip and cocky. In this revised version still played as a sextet, Joe is still pretty slick, but this time out seems gracious, almost refined and perhaps a bit world-weary. Nevertheless, it is and will always be a ‘killer’ tune.
When Golson played for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, he penned "Along Came Betty’ and ‘Are You Real?’ for the hard bop masterpiece, "Moanin’." Both pieces still retain their integrity as gracefully performed by the sextet of Golson, Farmer, Fuller, Keezer, Burno and Farnsworth.
Golson turns to Shirley Horn to sing a mournful ‘One Day, Forever,’ a ballad written for the memory of Art Farmer’s wife. This melancholy tune is sung with a jazz quartet backed by a full orchestra. It is simple and elegant. Ms. Horn is also featured on ‘Sad to Say.’ This is an equally heartbroken tale of love and regret.
‘On Gossamer Wings’ is something entirely different. It is a classical piano solo piece that shows the strength of Lara Downes as a sensitive interpreter of Golson’s immense compositional skills. The piece recalls Chopin and Brahms.
This may be a good starting point for listeners interested in Benny Golson. The music is accessible and attractive. It allows for further exploration of the over forty years of Golson music.