GEORGE BENSON, GUITAR MAN


Few jazz artists have gone as far as George Benson in terms of crossover appeal and recognition. From his earliest straight-ahead recordings, Benson has a canny ability to plug into the pop-jazz zeitgeist like few jazzmen. “Guitar Man” (Concord Jazz) aims to connect Benson with his “Breezin’” roots and he reigns supreme on his instrument – unadorned versions of “Tenderly,” “Don’t Know Why” and meaty, string-laden renditions of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “My Cherie Amour” are terrific. On-board veterans like pianist Joe Sample, drummer Harvey Mason and super hot bassist Ben Williams get to shine on bite size cuts like “Naima,” “Tequila” and “Paper Moon” but there’s no mistaking that Benson is calling the shots and making all the right moves. (George Benson will be performing at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA on October 23. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.) (12 tracks; 43:05 minutes)  Check out the album or download it here.

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JAZZ IN SPACE: GEORGE BENSON, GUITAR MAN

Monday, October 3, 2011

GEORGE BENSON, GUITAR MAN


Few jazz artists have gone as far as George Benson in terms of crossover appeal and recognition. From his earliest straight-ahead recordings, Benson has a canny ability to plug into the pop-jazz zeitgeist like few jazzmen. “Guitar Man” (Concord Jazz) aims to connect Benson with his “Breezin’” roots and he reigns supreme on his instrument – unadorned versions of “Tenderly,” “Don’t Know Why” and meaty, string-laden renditions of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “My Cherie Amour” are terrific. On-board veterans like pianist Joe Sample, drummer Harvey Mason and super hot bassist Ben Williams get to shine on bite size cuts like “Naima,” “Tequila” and “Paper Moon” but there’s no mistaking that Benson is calling the shots and making all the right moves. (George Benson will be performing at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA on October 23. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.) (12 tracks; 43:05 minutes)  Check out the album or download it here.

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