George Benson – White Rabbit (1971/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 36:00 minutes | 777 MB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital Booklet | @ Masterworks Jazz
Legendary guitarist and singer George Benson is joined by a historic band which includes Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto Moreira and more for this 1971 gem. The ensemble performs the ‘60s classic “White Rabbit,” “California Dreamin’” and “Summer Of ’42.” Benson’s guitar is in full blaze on this must-have audiophile download. White Rabbit remains one of Benson’s finest outings.
For George Benson’s second CTI project, producer Creed Taylor and arranger Don Sebesky successfully place the guitarist in a Spanish-flavored setting full of flamenco flourishes, brass fanfares, moody woodwinds and such. The idea works best on “California Dreamin’” (whose chords are based on Andalusian harmonies), where, driven by Jay Berliner’s exciting Spanish rhythm guitar, Benson comes through with some terrifically inspired playing. On “El Mar,” Berliner is replaced by Benson’s protégé Earl Klugh (then only 17) in an inauspicious — though at the time, widely-heralded — recorded debut. The title track is another winner, marred only by the out-of-tune brasses at the close, and in a good example of the CTI classical/jazz formula at work, Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Little Train of the Caipira” is given an attractive early-’70s facelift. Herbie Hancock gets plenty of nimble solo space on Rhodes electric piano, Airto Moreira contributes percussion and atmospheric wordless vocals, and Ron Carter and Billy Cobham complete the high-energy rhythm section. In this prime sample of the CTI idiom, everyone wins.
01 – White Rabbit
02 – Theme From “Summer Of ’42”
03 – Little Train (from Bachianas Brasileiras #2)
04 – California Dreamin’
05 – El Mar