Preview: Benny Golson plays with the SNJO

Benny Golson, legendary saxophonist and composer, joins the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra for three concerts at major Scottish venues

Composer, arranger and saxophonist Benny Golson (pictured right) will be joining the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of fellow saxophonist Tommy Smith, for three concerts titled Benny Golson Plays Benny Golson in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow during September. Golson is a major figure in contemporary jazz. Now aged 86 he's the composer of standards such as Killer Joe, Whisper Not and I Remember Clifford: he's also one of only two surviving musicians from Art Kane's momentous 1958 photo A Great Day In Harlem (Sonny Rollins is the second).

Golson (who was the featured cover artist in the May 2009 issue of Jazz Journal) grew up with John Coltrane in Philadelphia and was co-leader of the Jazztet with Art Farmer. In his extensive career he has also recorded with players including Art Blakey (in the Jazz Messengers) and Dizzy Gillespie. Golson explains his perspective on jazz by saying, "Jazz is all about imagination. We’re going to the same forest, but not to the same trees. I have no idea what solo I’m going to play. I play what’s on my mind."

The Benny Golson Plays Benny Golson concerts - part of the SNJO's 20th anniversary celebrations - take place from 18-20 September. Each concert starts at 7.30pm with a free pre-concert talk from 6.45pm. Dates and venues are as follows:

Friday 18 September - Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
Saturday 19 September - Music Hall, Aberdeen
Sunday 20 September - Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow

For further details and ticket bookings please go to the SNJO website.

Bruce Lindsay

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