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George Benson – Bad Benson (1974/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

George Benson – Bad Benson (1974/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 33:44 minutes | 1,24 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: e-Onkyo | Front Cover | © CTI Records
Recorded: May 29 (#1,3,5), May 30 (#4,6) and June 20 (#2), 1974 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Preceding Breezin’, his crossover smash for Warner in 1976, Bad Benson shows the guitarist still hanging on to his Wes Montgomery roots in places while stretching his soul-jazz persona into even funkier arenas. CTI had a formula for making funky, accessible jazz and fusion records that in 1974 still held true. Arranged by Don Sebesky, Bad Benson is a collection of delicious, varied, and sometimes confusing choices. Benson’s own playing is precise and smooth as always, and guitarist Phil Upchurch keeps a large color palette for him to draw from, as in the funkified version of “Take Five.” Other notables are the stellar “My Latin Brother,” which begins as a Debussy-ian impressionistic string study before becoming a heavily arpeggiated variation on the samba. Kenny Barron’s pianism here is the driving force behind a rhythm section that also includes drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Ron Carter. They give Benson a harmonic floor for one of the most inspiring solos of his career. These intensely meaty cuts — along with Upchurch’s stellar swinging in the pocket groover “Full Compass” — are juxtaposed against ballads such as “Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams” and “The Changing World,” a pair of ballads that ape Montgomery’s later snore-fest session for A&M. Not a great album, but a very, very good one.

1 Take Five 7:10
2 Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams 3:00
3 My Latin Brother 6:54
4 No Sooner Said Than Done 6:01
5 Full Compass 5:44
6 The Changing World 4:55

George Benson, guitar
Phil Upchurch, guitar, electric bass, percussion
Kenny Barron, piano
Ron Carter, bass
Steve Gadd, drums
Garnett Brown, Warren Covington, Wayne Andre, trombone
Paul Faulise, bass trombone
Alan Rubin, Joe Shepley, John Frosk, trumpet
Phil Bodner, English horn, clarinet, alto flute
George Marge, English horn, flute, piccolo flute
Ray Beckenstein, flute
Al Regni, flute, clarinet
Brooks Tillotson, Jim Buffington, French horn
Margaret Ross, harp
Alan Shulman, Charles McCracken, Frank Levy, Jesse Levy, Paul Tobias, Seymour Barab, cello
Don Sebesky, arranger, conductor


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