441

George Benson: Bad Benson

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
George Benson: Bad Benson Some tunes are so sacred that any attempt to cover them can only result in failure. Yet George Benson makes this mistake twice on Bad Benson ; the band can’t quite manage a groove in 5/4 on Brubeck’s “Take Five” and once again falter with a horrid disco version of Ellington’s “Take The ‘A’ Train” complete with fake train whistles. Creed Taylor should have offered rebates to anyone that could listen to these numbers more than once without wincing. However, the rest of the album is pretty good; Benson has always been an excellent guitarist, and there’s little here of the full-blown pop artist he would later become. The full band numbers are worthwhile compositions; in particular on “My Latin Brother”, where Benson creates a memorable tune based on a repeating five note phrase and shifting rhythms. Even Don Sebesky’s arrangements, which tend to clutter other CTI releases, play a crucial role in augmenting Benson’s nimble fretwork on two tracks. Regardless of the quality of the music, Benson soars as a soloist, fashioning interesting melodic ideas from even the most ill-chosen material. Since this album comes late in Benson’s career, one might assume that Bad Benson lives up to its name in a way other than the guitarist intended. However, despite its faults, this album is filled with tasteful guitar-based jazz.


Track Listing: Take Five; Summer Wisher/Winter Dreams; My Latin Brother; No Sooner Said Than Done; Full Compass; The Changing World; Take the "A" Train; Serbian Blue.

Personnel: George Benson - Guitar, Vocals; Ron Carter - Bass; Phil Upchurch - Bass, Guitar, Percussion; Kenny Barron - Piano; Don Sebesky - Arranger; Steve Gadd - Drums.

Year Released: 1974 | Record Label: CTI Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Juggling Kukla" CD/LP/Track Review Juggling Kukla
by John Sharpe
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "Trane 90" CD/LP/Track Review Trane 90
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Rumbler" CD/LP/Track Review Rumbler
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Dancing Our Way To Death" CD/LP/Track Review Dancing Our Way To Death
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!