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Gilly’s Remembered

Read "Gilly’s Remembered" reviewed by Michael J. Williams

Anyone who was a jazz aficionado in jny: Cincinnati in the 1970s and wanted to hear the upper echelon musicians in the art form--the artists written about in Downbeat and whose records played regularly on the local AM station, WNOP--knew what to do. Make the 50-mile trek up Interstate 75 to Gilly's in Dayton. While the Queen City had its share of jazz spots, they mostly drew upon the local talent, which was nothing to disparage ...

LIVE REVIEWS

George Benson at Denver Botanic Gardens

Read "George Benson at Denver Botanic Gardens" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

George Benson Botanic Gardens Denver, CO August 31, 2016 NEWS FLASH: George Benson's gone pop! OK, maybe that one's about 40 years late. I even knew that at the time it happened, having purchased the Breezin' album (Warner Brothers, 1976) when it first came out. But, over the years, through careful picking and choosing and focusing on his older material, I've mainly been listening to his jazz side. Nevertheless, I knew that a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

George Benson at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury

Read "George Benson at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury" reviewed by Mike Perciaccante

George Benson with special guest Chrisette Michele NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY August 14, 2015 George Benson is a multi-platinum (R.I.A.A. certified), best selling, Grammy Award-winning guitarist and singer-songwriter. In 2009, Benson was recognized by the U.S. National Endowment of the Arts as a Jazz Master, the country's highest jazz honor. Benson was born and raised in the Hill District in jny: Pittsburgh, PA. A child prodigy, at 8 years of ...

LIVE REVIEWS

George Benson and the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center

Read "George Benson and the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center" reviewed by Patricia Myers

George Benson and the Phoenix Symphony OrchestraMesa Arts Center Mesa, Arizona January 21, 2015 Guitarist-vocalist George Benson performed two straight hours of soul-satisfying and totally thrilling music that reprised his five decades of hits in jazz and pop- contemporary music acclaim. The non-stop set ranged from his 1964 jazz albums debut through multiple Grammy-winning gold and platinum CDs, to his 2013 Nat King Cole tribute, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole (Concord Records, 2013). ...

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George Benson: Finding His Groove In Inspiration

Read "George Benson: Finding His Groove In Inspiration" reviewed by Belinda Ware

George Benson is a quintessential master of jazz whose professional musical career continues to flourish over decades due to his charisma, wit, showmanship and a succession of multiple hit record releases that are foundational in the evolution of contemporary jazz. As a seasoned jazz connoisseur, Benson stays in demand as a sought after performing artist as seen in his steady concert schedules taking to the stage in countries around the world. Simply put, Benson is on a mission ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole

Read "Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Million-selling, hugely popular and readily recognisable jazz artists are a bit thin on the ground these days. So when one such giant records a tribute to another it's something of an event. George Benson's Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole certainly falls into that category: an album of songs from one of the biggest stars of the twentieth century, performed with due respect by one of the biggest names in the contemporary jazz scene.The album's opener, “Mona ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Guitar Man

Read "Guitar Man" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

At some point George Benson morphed from a guitarist who occasionally sang into a singer who occasionally played guitar. Benson's Breezin' (Warner Bros, 1976) launched his career trajectory to new heights based upon “This Masquerade," his only vocal turn on the album.But oh, what a vocal “This Masquerade" was. It propelled Breezin' to Number One on the pop charts and the album won multiple Grammys, including Record of the Year, and his recording formula was set for the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Body Talk

Read "Body Talk" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

With a title like Body Talk, and a lead-off track called “Dance," George Benson--a guitar-god-on-the-rise when this album originally hit shelves in 1973--makes it clear that this music is all about feeling the groove. While a good number of Benson projects on CTI benefited from Don Sebesky's arrangements, the guitarist needed a funkier feeling for this album, and Pee Wee Ellis was just the man to provide it. Ellis helped to create the sound that defined the music of James ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: Beyond The Blue Horizon

Read "Beyond The Blue Horizon" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

George Benson has worn many hats throughout his career, from jazz-pop vocal star to soulful six-stringer, but his guitar god persona is probably exhibited best by Beyond The Blue Horizon (CTI, 1971). This album arrived five full years before Benson's popularity would explode with Breezin' (Warner Bros., 1976), and it presents this powerful instrumental presence in a no-nonsense, small group setting. Benson worked briefly with the great Miles Davis, as a guest on Miles In The Sky ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Benson: White Rabbit

Read "White Rabbit" reviewed by John Kelman

After three late-1960s A&M albums with mastermind Creed Taylor prior to the creation of CTI Records, guitarist George Benson hit 1971 running with two CTI debuts, issued a few months apart. Beyond the Blue Horizon was closer, in complexion, to his A&M recordings--harkening back, even, to his impressive 1966 Columbia Records two-punch, It's Uptown and The George Benson Cookbook--although the virtuosic, soul- drenched guitarist was clearly evolving as a player and maturing into one whose firebrand, virtuosic tendencies were becoming ...

INTERVIEWS

George Benson: From Chitlins to Chateaubriand to Caviar

Read "George Benson: From Chitlins to Chateaubriand to Caviar" reviewed by Ed Hamilton

In the summer of 2004 guitarist George Benson sat down unnoticed at the Baton Rouge Bar in Montreal and asked for a margarita. The Baton Rouge is a great restaurant haven for jazz goers and musicians attending the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, aka The Montreal Jazz Festival. It just so happened that, as my family and I sat down at the bar for an afternoon brunch, I looked over to my left and recognized Benson as the gentleman ...

FILM REVIEWS

George Benson: Live at Montreux 1986

Read "George Benson: Live at Montreux 1986" reviewed by Jim Santella

George Benson Live at Montreux 1986 Eagle Eye Media 2005

This concert is a lot of fun for those who want to enjoy George Benson interpreting pop and smooth jazz. He's exciting, and he really gets into his songs. Solid vocals and smooth instrumentals carry the audience through moderate romps and lush ballads that focus on the leader from every angle.

Synchronized horns, varied percussion textures, throbbing electric bass and ...


Summertime Magic

Statik Link captures the sound of Soul and Jazz that was popular in the 1970s with a modern twist. The trumpet, saxophones, and drums were recorded with vintage microphones for a tone like no other.

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