George Benson, Tommy LiPuma and GRP? Yes, I too had to look at the press release once again to make sure I got it right. GRP certainly needed an injection of fresh ideas and a man with Tommy LiPuma's experience was a good move. I suppose it was inevitable that Tommy would would to invite a few of his longstanding stars along to the party.
"That's Right" is George Benson's first new album for a few years now and was worth the wait. More often than not when I read the jazz newsgroups on the internet about his work, many often criticise that he he turned away from his real jazz roots, many say he became too much of a singer and didn't play enough on his albums. I think that this album addresses many of these ponits, subjective though it might be.
I believe the album is a wonderful balance of guitar ballads à la "In Flight" and "Breezin" but as George was quoted in an recent interview, "like to try and get a modern feel in the music too." His vocals come across as stunningly as ever and the killer cut "Marvin said" is one of the finest Benson tracks of all time (and I have almost thirty of his albums). Indeed this rates in my all time Top 20 too.
One of the distinct characteristics of the album is the keyboard talents of co-producer Ricky Peterson who plays a wonderful Hammond on "The Thinker" which also features the Benson scat cum lead trade mark.
The Benson ballads are represented by "Song for my brother", the wonderful "Summer Love" the smoocher "Footprints in the sand" and the album's closing cut "Where are you now" whilst the solid instrumentals are the laid back "Johnnie Lee" and the up-tempo "Song for my brother". If you are more into the "Love Ballad" type Benson cuts, check out the funky "P Park" or the title track .
This album will was again re-establish George at the top of the contemporary jazz charts and is an excellent addition to your own collection. It is perfect for the 'Wind down zone' at the end of the day.