This excerpt from Lifetime Grammy Award “hall of fame” inductee Benny Golson’s autobiography follows the composer/saxophonist’s recollection of the premature death of his close friend, John Coltrane. Its intimate narrative recalls adolescent jam sessions in Philadelphia that brought together a remarkable group of future stars: Philly Joe Jones, Jimmy and Percy Heath, alongside two aspiring sax players who greatly influenced jazz history. At the center of this vivid account, their unlikely teenage encounter with Thelonious Monk in Harlem and their life-changing evening with Charlie Parker in mid-’40s Philly frame Golson’s poignant memory of a once-in-a-lifetime friendship’s epochal artistic collaboration.

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