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George Benson

Simply one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history, George Benson is an amazingly versatile musician, whose adept skills find him crossing easily between straight-ahead jazz, smooth jazz, and contemporary R&B. Blessed with supreme taste, a beautiful, rounded guitar tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing, Benson's inspirations may have been Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery, but his style is completely his own. Not only can he play lead brilliantly, he is also one of the best rhythm guitarists around, supportive to soloists and a dangerous swinger, particularly in a soul-jazz format. Yet Benson can also sing in a lush, soulful tenor with mannerisms similar to those of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, and it is his voice that has proven more marketable to the public than his guitar. Benson is the guitar-playing equivalent of Nat King Cole -- a fantastic pianist whose smooth way with a pop vocal eventually eclipsed his instrumental prowess in the marketplace -- but unlike Cole, Benson has been granted enough time after his fling with the pop charts to reaffirm his jazz guitar credentials, which he still does at his concerts.

Benson actually started out professionally as a singer, performing in nightclubs at eight, recording four sides for RCA's X label in 1954, and forming a rock band at 17 while using a guitar that his stepfather made for him. Exposure to records by Christian, Montgomery and Charlie Parker got him interested in jazz, and by 1962, the teenage Benson was playing in Brother Jack McDuff's band. After forming his own group in 1965, Benson became another of talent scout John Hammond's major discoveries, recording two highly regarded albums of soul-jazz and hard bop for Columbia and turning up on several records by others, including Miles Davis' Miles in the Sky. He switched to Verve in 1967, and, shortly after the death of Montgomery in June 1968, producer Creed Taylor began recording him with larger ensembles on A&M (1968-1969) and big groups and all-star combos on CTI (1971-1976).

While the A&M and CTI albums certainly earned their keep and made Benson a guitar star in the jazz world, the mass market didn't catch on until he began to emphasize vocals after signing with Warner Bros. in 1976. His first album for Warner Bros., Breezin', became a Top Ten hit on the strength of its sole vocal track, "This Masquerade," and this led to a string of hit albums in an R&B-flavored pop mode, culminating with the Quincy Jones-produced Give Me the Night. As the '80s wore on, though, Benson's albums became riddled with commercial formulas and inferior material, with his guitar almost entirely relegated to the background. Perhaps aware of the futility of chasing the charts (after all, "This Masquerade" was a lucky accident), Benson reversed his field late in the '80s to record a fine album of standards, Tenderly, and another with the Basie band, his guitar now featured more prominently. His pop-flavored work also improved noticeably in the '90s. Benson retains the ability to spring surprises on his fans and critics, like his dazzlingly idiomatic TV appearance and subsequent record date with Benny Goodman in 1975 in honor of John Hammond, and his awesome command of the moment at several Playboy Jazz Festivals in the '80s. His latter-day recordings include the 1998 effort Standing Together, 2000's Absolute Benson, 2001's All Blues, and 2004's Irreplaceable. Three songs from 2006's Givin' It Up, recorded with Al Jarreau, were nominated for Grammy Awards in separate categories.

Benson began to see numerous reissues of his catalog material from his years with producer Creed Taylor on Verve, A&M, and CTI, from 2008 on. In 2009, he signed to Concord and released Songs and Stories for the label; he followed it up with his first primarily instrumental album in 35 years entitled Guitar Man in 2011. Two years later, in 2013, Benson released Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, featuring arrangements by Nelson Riddle and Randy Waldman. Recorded at the age of 70, it was one of Benson's finest albums. ~ Richard S. Ginell & Steve Leggett
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Inspiration, A Tribute To Nat King Cole

1. Mona Lisa

2. Just One Of Those Things

4. Walkin' My Baby Back Home

6. Route 66

7. Nature Boy

8. Ballerina

10. Straighten Up And Fly Right

13. Mona Lisa

x

Track List: Guitar Man

1. Tenderly

2. I Want To Hold Your Hand

3. My Cherie Amour

4. Naima

5. Tequila

6. Don't Know Why

7. The Lady In My Life

9. My One And Only Love

10. Paper Moon

11. Danny Boy

13. Fingerlero

x

Track List: Good King Bad/Benson & Farrell

1. Theme From Good King Bad

2. One Rock Don't Make No Boulder

3. Em

4. Cast Your Fate To The Wind

5. Siberian Workout

6. Shell Of A Man

7. Hold On, I'm Coming

8. Flute Song

12. Old Devil Moon

x

Track List: Songs And Stories

1. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight

2. Family Reunion

3. Show Me The Love

4. A Telephone Call Away

5. Someday We'll All Be Free

6. Nuthin' But A Party

7. Come In From The Cold

8. Exotica

9. Rainy Night In Georgia

10. One Like You

11. Living In High Definition

12. Sailing

x

Track List: Live Best Of

3. Breezin'

4. Love X Love

7. Never Give Up On A Good Thing

8. Hipping The Hop

9. Give Me The Night

10. On Broadway (live)

x

Track List: Irreplaceable

1. Irreplaceable

2. Cell Phone

3. Black Rose

4. Take You Out

5. Strings Of Love

6. Missing You

7. Six Play

8. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise

9. Stairway To Love

10. Arizona Sunrise

x

Track List: The Greatest Hits Of All

1. This Masquerade

2. Breezin'

3. The Greatest Love Of All

4. On Broadway (Live)

5. Love Ballad

6. Unchained Melody

7. Give Me The Night

8. Love X Love

9. Turn Your Love Around

11. Never Give Up On A Good Thing

12. Being With You

13. Lady Love Me (One More Time)

14. 20/20

15. I Just Wanna Hang Around You

16. Kisses In The Moonlight

17. Shiver

18. Let's Do It Again

19. Standing Together

x

Track List: Absolute Benson

1. The Ghetto

2. El Barrio

3. Jazzenco

4. Deeper Than You Think

5. One On One

6. Hipping The Hop

7. Lately

8. Come Back Baby

9. Medicine Man

x

Track List: Standing Together

1. C-Smooth

2. Standing Together

3. All I Know

4. Cruise Control

5. Poquito Spanish, Poquito Funk

6. Still Waters

7. Fly By Night

8. Back To Love

9. Keep Rollin'

x

Track List: Love Remembers

1. I'll Be Good To You

2. Got To Be There

3. My Heart Is Dancing

4. Love Of My Life

5. Kiss And Make Up

6. Come Into My World

7. Love Remembers

8. Willing To Fight

9. Somewhere Island

10. Lovin' On Borrowed Time

11. Lost In Love

12. Calling You

x

Track List: 20-20

1. No One Emotion

2. Please Don't Walk Away

3. I Just Wanna Hang Around You

4. Nothing's Gonna Change

5. Beyond The Sea (La Mer)

6. 20-20

7. New Day

8. Hold Me

9. Stand Up

10. You Are The Love Of My Life

x

Track List: In Your Eyes

1. Feel Like Making Love

2. Inside Love

3. Lady Love Me

4. Love Will Come Again

5. In Your Eyes

6. Never Too Far To Fall

7. Being With You

8. Use Me

9. Late At Night (feat. Vickie Randle)

10. In Search Of A Dream

x

Track List: Give Me The Night

1. Love X Love

2. Off Broadway

3. Moody's Mood

4. Give Me The Night

5. What's On Your Mind

6. Dinorah, Dinorah

7. Love Dance

8. Star Of A Story (X)

9. Midnight Love Affair

10. Turn Out The Lamplight

x

Track List: Livin' Inside Your Love

1. Livin' Inside Your Love

2. Hey Girl

3. Nassau Day

4. Soulful Strut

5. Prelude To Fall

6. A Change Is Gonna Come

7. Love Ballad

8. You're Never Too Far From Me

9. Love Is A Hurtin' Thing

10. Welcome To My World

11. Before You Go

12. Unchained Melody

x

Track List: Weekend In L.A.

1. Weekend In L.A.

2. On Broadway (Live)

3. Down Here On The Ground

4. California P.M. (Live)

5. The Greatest Love Of All (Live)

8. Ode To A Kudu (Live)

10. We All Remember Wes

x

Track List: In Flight

1. Nature Boy

2. The Wind And I

3. The World Is A Ghetto

4. Gonna Love You More

5. Valdez In The Country

6. Everything Must Change

x

Track List: Breezin'

1. Breezin'

2. This Masquerade

3. Six To Four

4. Affirmation

5. So This Is Love?

6. Lady

x

Track List: Body Talk

1. Dance

2. When Love Has Grown

4. Body Talk

5. Top Of The World

x

Track List: Beyond The Blue Horizon (Original Recording Remastered)

1. So What

2. The Gentle Rain (From The Film "The Gentle Rain")

3. All Clear

4. Ode To A Kudu

5. Somewhere In The East

8. Somewhere In The East (Alt. Take)

x

Track List: Beyond The Blue Horizon

1. So What?

2. The Gentle Rain

3. All Clear

4. Ode To A Kudu

5. Somewhere In The East

8. Somewhere In The East (Alt. Take)

x

Track List: The Other Side Of Abbey Road

1. Golden Slumbers/You Never Give Me Your Money

2. Because/Come Together

3. Oh! Darling

4. Here Comes The Sun/I Want You (She's So Heavy)

5. Something/Octopus's Garden/ The End

x

Track List: Giblet Gravy

1. Along Comes Mary

2. Sunny

3. What's New?

4. Giblet Gravy

5. Walk On By

6. Thunder Walk

7. Sack Of Woe

8. Groovin'

9. Low Down And Dirty

10. Billie's Bounce

11. What's New?

12. What's New? (Alternate Take)

x

Track List: Shape Of Things To Come

1. Footin' It

2. Face It Boy, It's Over

3. Shape Of Things To Come

4. Chatanooga Choo Choo

5. Don't Let Me Lose This Dream

6. Shape Of Things That Are And Were

7. Last Train To Clarkesville

x

Track List: The George Benson Cookbook

1. The Cooker

2. Benny's Back

3. Bossa Rocka

4. All Of Me

5. Big Fat lady

6. Benson's Rider

7. Ready And Able

8. The Borgia Stick

9. Return Of The Prodigal Son

x

Track List: The New Boss Guitar Of George Benson

1. Shadow Dancers

2. The Sweet Alice Blues

3. I Don't Know

4. Just Another Sunday

5. Will You Still Be Mine

6. Easy Living

7. Rock-A-Bye

8. My Three Sons

x

Track List: Family Reunion (Radio Single)

1. Family Reunion

x

Track List: The George Benson Collection

1. Turn Your Love Around

2. Love All The Hurt Away

3. Give Me The Night

4. Never Give Up On A Good Thing

5. On Broadway

6. White Rabbit

7. This Masquerade

8. Love Ballad

9. Nature Boy

10. Last Train To Clarksville

11. Livin' Inside Your Love

12. Here Comes The Sun

13. Breezin'

14. Moody's Mood

15. We Got The Love

16. The Greatest Love Of All

x

Track List: The Lady In My Life (Single)

1. The Lady In My Life

Comments

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Love this song!
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������������
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moleculematt
He plays the ukulele. It's so beautiful.
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I have been listening to his music since 1975. He is still the greatest.
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The best ever

DC
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...my brother.
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mysteriousst r a n g e r 5 4 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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Living Legend...... . .
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grandmother1 9 5 6
Yes he can play this here guitar
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dragonlady60 8 8
BREEZINNNNNN N N
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dragonlady60 8 8
GEORGE...... T H E MOST AMAZING MUSICIAN FOREVER XO
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The next legend.unsun g next fall,look for George benson...
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Lived in Dallas 1978..my roommate 's brother worked & toured with George.. We got passes.. Great performance
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1975 around that time I was in L.A..wonerfu l time and songsThanks Mom I luv you.AndMr. Benson��
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A Great Artist!
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See George benson at unsung next fall...
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fidelperezda r i a s
What a feeling!!!
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George Benson in give me the night sounds/sings like the singer Kem!
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marmergillan o
200000000000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 thumbs up
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JUST GIVE ME DA NIGHT!!!!!N IF YOU FEEL ALRIGHT THAN WE CAN BE LOVER'S CAUSE THERE'S MUSIC IN DA AIR N LOT'S OF LOVING EVERY WHERE SO GIVE ME DA NIGHT.
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My favorite george Benson albums of all time I was on the way to the beach when I heard so this is love wow class style and a great guitar virtuoso the man the myth the legend timeless beauty breezin thanks george
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888888888888 8 8 8 8
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cvennie20
Sh km
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You are soooooo right Katrina...I am waiting for him to come back home to the Pittsburgh area...His concert was one of the best I have ever been to and I have been to numerous...H e ' s AWESOME!!!
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Awesome, simply AWESOME!
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marmergillan o
I'm a big fan of you George Benson
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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
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From my beginning of learning jazz you were the man I still play breezing..
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Hello my wonderful spiritual friend how are you doing. Love ur music may Jah continue bless you and family. Southport NC
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love you my spiritual brother..... , b e e n following you since the 70's
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I have Turn Your Love Around don a '45 and Love Ballad, on my ipod.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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brsuga.sn
What can I say badass Benson
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dragonlady60 8 8
TY. GEORGE FOR YOUR AMAZING TAKENT AND MUSIC XOXO
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theeduke2160
Iam 55 years old and a jazz enthusiast since the seventies. Benson's scat vocals and guitar are what makes him more talented than other artists and the fact that he sings great is the proverbial icing on the cake.
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If ur gonna call George repetitive, that would include a whole lot of other people who don't have half his talent
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yeah, he's all that, but his pseudo-singi n g -- the sounds he makes to mimic his guitar-playi n g -- can be repetitive, distracting and annoying. it detracted from what could have been a much better collaboratio n with fellow jazz artist earl klugh.
Report as inappropriate
yeah, he's all that, but his pseudo-singi n g -- the stuff he does to mimic his guitar-playi n g -- can be repetitive, distracting and annoying. it detracted from what could have been a much better collaboratio n with fellow jazz artist earl klugh.
Report as inappropriate
yeah, he's all that, but his pseudo-singi n g can be repetitive, distracting and annoying.
it detracted from what could have been a much better collaboratio n with fellow jazz guitarist earl klugh.
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did you have a tear joy
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I love you music
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WHEN I SAW HIM LAST YEAR IN PGH HE TORE DOWN THE HOUSE WITH THIS SONG & ON BROADWAY...H I dragonlady60 8 8 . . . I SAW YOUR COMMENT & FOLLOWING ME ON PANDORA BUT FOR SOME REASON PROGRAM WOULD NOT LET ME COMMENT BACK.
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dragonlady60 8 8
Love u George...u are my inspiration. . . m y peace...ty
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jennifer.tho r l e y
just love Georges musical talents
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Food for your soul!!!
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marmergillan o
I love breezin
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marmergillan o
I love it
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Play jon Lucien!
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Just listening to this man's talents makes me clearly see how far music has sunk! Sing it my brother!
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jennifer.tho r l e y
just the best - purrrrrfect - so smooth
Show more

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