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Benny Golson Gets a Bump from 'The Terminal'

Cover of Benny Golson's CD 'Terminal 1'
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Cover of Benny Golson's CD 'Terminal 1'

In the 1950s, Benny Golson emerged as one of the best around on the tenor saxophone. His powerful approach helped define hard-bop jazz when he played with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.

Shortly after his arrival in New York, Golson was one of 57 jazz greats asked to pose at a mass photo shoot for an Esquire magazine feature. The famous Art Kane photo from 1958, known as "Great Day in Harlem" or simply "Harlem 1958," places Golson alongside Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Thelonius Monk and a host of other musicians.

Now that historic photo and Benny Golson both are getting renewed attention, due to their roles in the Steven Spielberg movie The Terminal. The film's subplot includes Tom Hanks' character's autograph hunt for all who were in the photo — including Golson, who makes a brief appearance on screen.

On the heels of a new CD, Terminal 1, Golson talks with NPR's Tavis Smiley about that 1958 day in Harlem, his current projects and working with Spielberg.

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