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.
Labels: Ben Williams, Concord Jazz Records, George Benson, Harvey Mason, Joe Sample