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  • George Benson

    So tell me about George Benson. I've heard some of his more famous smooth jazz tunes but I want to listen to GB - the guitar player.

    Any recommendations? Hes put out so many records over the years that I don't know where to start looking.

  • #2
    I think "Breezin' is pretty much considered a must for Benson (and jazz) fans.

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    • #3
      "Live at Casa Caribe"

      It is an older live recording but recently released.

      Great live jazz album you hear him blowing over some jazz standards like Oleo.

      not in the Breezin' style.

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      • #4
        Check out "Beyond the Blue Horizon", "Good King Bad" or anything from the CTI period. This is his early 70's fusion period. Breezin is his breakthrough album from 1976. After that he ventured into singing (he had a huge hit with "Turn Your Love Around" in the early 80's) and the liter jazz. The title track off Breezin is very famous and can be considered a proto smooth-jazz track but I like it.

        For his early Bop stuff try maybe the George Benson Cookbook. This is from 1966.

        I love "Affirmation" off Breezin'

        I tried this same thread on the Guitar Forum last week and actually got some replies!
        <div class="signaturecontainer">Eh.....</div>

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        • #5
          My favorite George Benson (there have been several ) is as a soul-jazz guitarist.

          Check out these three records of his to see why he was concerned the next step on the evolutionary ladder after Wes.
          Giblet Gravy
          The New Boss Guitar of George Benson
          It's Uptown

          Also, GB first got some fame playing with Brother Jack McDuff in his organ combos, His playing is a little less original back then, but the technique and ideas are still fabulous. That's great music in general, too. Good for parties, great for jamming with blues players.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;I had a cat named Snowball<br />
          She died! She died!<br />
          Mom said she was sleeping<br />
          She lied! She lied!&quot;</div>

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          • #6
            My personal favorites are Good King Bad, The Other Side Of Abbey Road, White Rabbit, Blue Benson, and the George Benson Cook Book. For proof that he was still able to play at that level long after he left the straight ahead jazz world, check out his work on Organist Jack McDuff's 1992 CD: Color Me Blue.

            I saw him play several years ago at the Hollywood Bowl as the headliner for a tribute concert to Wes Montgomery. The opener was Mundell Lowe substituting for Joe Pass who passed away a few months earlier. Next was Lee Rittenauer whose current release at the time was his tribute album Wes Bound. And the finally Benson to climax the show. It was an interesting performance by Benson. Since it was a tribute performance, he seemed to be liberated from his MOR persona. He played about 45 minutes that could have come from directly from his work in the late 60's: brilliant, crisp, well articulated and creative. He talked about studying with Wes when he was a kid and he was playing a Gibson L5 that had belonged to Wes. On the other hand, he knew that there were several thousand people who there because they were fans of his pop music, so he finished his set with 30 minutes of fairly mundane funk and then played Masquerade as his encore. His funk was well played, but I wouldn't have payed to hear it, just as I haven't bought an album he's made in the last 20 years.

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            • #7
              Thanks fellas

              Anymore suggestions?

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              • #8
                I'm often miffed at George Benson later smooth-pop stuff. I mean... does/did he actually make money out of it? I can only assume so, kinda like a Carlos Santana retirement package, because the guys an awesome, fabled guitarist.... why not stay an awesome, fabled guitar legend? Unless he's grown out of jazz, or something...

                You gotta do what you gotta do, I suppose.
                <div class="signaturecontainer">Rab</div>

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ONEN
                  I'm often miffed at George Benson later smooth-pop stuff. I mean... does/did he actually make money out of it? I can only assume so, kinda like a Carlos Santana retirement package, because the guys an awesome, fabled guitarist.... why not stay an awesome, fabled guitar legend? Unless he's grown out of jazz, or something...

                  You gotta do what you gotta do, I suppose.


                  It's really pretty simple. He had a family to support and jazz wasn't making him enough money to keep them alive. Before Breezing, he was struggling just to make enough to pay the basics. Now he's a star for life. I don't listen to anything he does anymore, but I never begrudge a musician's success, no matter what it takes. It's just way too uncommon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ONEN
                    I'm often miffed at George Benson later smooth-pop stuff. I mean... does/did he actually make money out of it? I can only assume so, kinda like a Carlos Santana retirement package, because the guys an awesome, fabled guitarist.... why not stay an awesome, fabled guitar legend? Unless he's grown out of jazz, or something...

                    You gotta do what you gotta do, I suppose.


                    I guess he wanted fame, fortune and commercial success

                    http://www.guitar.com/features/viewfeature.asp?featureID=171

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jim Soloway


                      It's really pretty simple. He had a family to support and jazz wasn't making him enough money to keep them alive. Before Breezing, he was struggling just to make enough to pay the basics. Now he's a star for life. I don't listen to anything he does anymore, but I never begrudge a musician's success, no matter what it takes. It's just way too uncommon.


                      Yeah, I'm not dissing the guy, he's done more for music than I ever will, and you cant eat respect. I'm happy to see anyone get ahead in music (yes, even boy/girl bands. In fact, it annoys me most to hear people dissing them). I've heard he's still open to new idea's & always keeps his chops warm, too. While we're on the subject: whats some awesome Santana?
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">Rab</div>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ONEN


                        Yeah, I'm not dissing the guy, he's done more for music than I ever will, and you cant eat respect. I'm happy to see anyone get ahead in music (yes, even boy/girl bands. In fact, it annoys me most to hear people dissing them). I've heard he's still open to new idea's & always keeps his chops warm, too. While we're on the subject: whats some awesome Santana?


                        My favorite after all these years is atill Abraxis and the self-titled first album.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ONEN


                          While we're on the subject: whats some awesome Santana?


                          The first one I got was Moonflower - half live. Good mix
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                          <i>Originally posted by sickman </i><br />
                          <font size="1"><b>Some day you're going to be old and no chick is going to want to have sexual relations with you... probably not even your wife. If you're lucky, they may still want to hear you make music. </b></font>

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                          • #14
                            Easy Gear.....

                            I can say with ease that George Benson is the most skilled guitarist I have ever heard. The things he does simply can't be done.

                            I can also say without conflict that George Benson has made some historically bad music, and a bevy of sub-par to poor albums.

                            The same can be said about a lot of great musicians. It doesn't diminish what they did at their best.

                            And whether or not I can play as well as GB (which I can't, obviously) doesn't disqualify me from saying that one particular song he happens to play is is a bad piece of music. It doesn't mean I am disrespecting anybody, because everybody knows Benson has earned all the respect in the world.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;I had a cat named Snowball<br />
                            She died! She died!<br />
                            Mom said she was sleeping<br />
                            She lied! She lied!&quot;</div>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "Good King Bad" and "Bad Benson" are 2 of my favorites.

                              I also read some press a while back that said that George sat in with Stevie Ray Vaughn one time and blew Stevie off the stage using a borrowed guitar and amp!
                              I'd have trouble believing it if were anyone besides George (except maybe Scott Henderson).
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                              <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>requiem156</strong>
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                              <div class="message">Dokken has no album called <i>Storm of Dragons</i>. If they did, the songs would all be about this one dragon who got his heart broken by a mean female dragon. The riffs and solos would be killing, though. <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smilie" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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