Longer ago than he may care to admit, as a teenager, Benny Golson was jamming in his front room with his friend and fellow saxophonist John Coltrane. That in itself is quite a thought to consider when listening to Golson's first recording for HighNote Records. Even more thought provoking, though, is the fact that without Benny Golson's gifts as a composer, hard-bop's catalog of charming straight-ahead standards would be missing many of its iconic tunes. Then, as if these accomplishments were not enough, it should be mentioned that Golson's beautifully paced, golden toned playing, has appeared on more than five hundred recordings. Surrounded here by his current colleagues of choice, Golson, plays standards and originals with a hipness characterized by his attractive, sinewy melodic statements. He shines on both ballads, where his big, warm tone and heavy vibrato stand him in good stead, and the uptempo numbers such as “Jump Start," where his improvisations are full of power and substance.