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George Benson|The Essential George Benson

The Essential George Benson

George Benson

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The Essential George Benson covers 28 years and spans two discs, so it lives up to its claim of having the widest scope of all the Benson compilations that surfaced before it. While it's impressive that Columbia/Legacy didn't merely mine Columbia and CTI dates, and licensed material from Warner Bros. and Prestige as well (the brief Verve period is unrepresented), you could also say that the label also spread itself thin, with several crucial moments in Benson's career unable to fit. If Columbia/Legacy were honest, they'd position this as more of a sampler with a few curve balls. No matter what era you prefer, you're going to come up short, and it's not as if most people who are curious about Benson are going to be open-minded enough to appreciate both "Clockwise" and the vastly different "Give Me the Night." Some of the surprise selections, which almost outnumber the obvious ones, include an alternate take of "Ode to a Kudu," "Hip Skip" (from Tony Williams' late-'70s Joy of Flying), "Rock Candy" (from Brother Jack McDuff Live!), and "Paraphernalia" (a bizarre pick for any form of anthology, from Miles Davis' Miles in the Sky). Even casual fans won't have to think too hard about essential cuts that aren't here -- "Durham's Turn," "Nature Boy," "The World Is a Ghetto," "Love X Love," and on and on, but the majority of what's here cannot be challenged. This is a way to begin -- not wrap up -- your fascination with Benson. It is representative of the breadth of his career from 1963 through 1980, but it could have just as easily been done a dozen other ways. The sound is vibrant, and Benson's track-by-track commentary adds a nice touch.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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The Essential George Benson

George Benson

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1
Rock Candy (Live)
George Benson
00:06:10

Red Holloway, Tenor Saxophone - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Peter Paul, Producer - J. McDuff, Composer - J. McDuff, Lyricist - Joe Dukes, Drums - Lew Futterman, Producer - Brother Jack McDuff, Organ

Originally released 1963. All rights reserved by Prestige Records

2
Shadow Dancers (Album Version)
George Benson
00:04:43

Red Holloway, Tenor Saxophone - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Various, Drums - Various, Bass - Lew Futterman, Producer - G. Benson, Composer - G. Benson, Lyricist - Brother Jack McDuff, Organ

Originally released 1964. All rights reserved by Prestige Records

3
Clockwise (Album Version)
George Benson
00:04:26

George Benson, Composer - George Benson, Vocal - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Lyricist - George Benson, Performer - John Hammond, Producer - Marion Booker, Drums - Lonnie Smith, Organ - Ronnie Cuber, Baritone Saxophone

Originally released 1966. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Willow Weep for Me (Album Version)
George Benson
00:07:46

George Benson, Vocal - George Benson, Guitar - John Hammond, Producer - Jimmy Lovelace, Drums - A. Ronell, Composer - A. Ronell, Lyricist - The George Benson Quartet, Performer - Lonnie Smith, Organ - Ronnie Cuber, Baritone Saxophone

Originally released 1966. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
A Foggy Day (Album Version)
George Benson
00:02:39

George Benson, Vocal - George Benson, Guitar - John Hammond, Producer - Jimmy Lovelace, Drums - G. Gershwin, Composer - G. Gershwin, Lyricist - The George Benson Quartet, Performer - Lonnie Smith, Organ - I. Gershwin, Composer - I. Gershwin, Lyricist - Ronnie Cuber, Baritone Saxophone

Originally released 1966. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
The Borgia Stick (Album Version)
George Benson
00:03:06

George Benson, Guitar - John Hammond, Producer - Jimmy Lovelace, Drums - G. Benson, Composer - G. Benson, Lyricist - The George Benson Quartet, Performer - Lonnie Smith, Organ - Ronnie Cuber, Baritone Saxophone

Originally released 1967. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Paraphernalia (Album Version)
Miles Davis
00:12:36

Herbie Hancock, Piano - George Benson, Electric Guitar - Ron Carter, Bass - Wayne Shorter, Composer - Wayne Shorter, Lyricist - Wayne Shorter, Tenor Saxophone - Teo Macero & His Orchestra, Producer - Tony Williams, Drums - Miles Davis & His Orchestra, Trumpet - Miles Davis, Performer

Originally released 1968. All rights reserved by SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

8
Sugar (Album Version)
Stanley Turrentine
00:10:05

Stanley Turrentine, Performer - Stanley Turrentine, Tenor Saxophone - Billy Kaye, Drums - Freddie Hubbard, Trumpet - Richard "Pablo" Landrum, Congas - Jr. Lonnie L. Smith, Piano - Creed Taylor, Producer - George Benson, Guitar - Ron Carter, Bass - Butch Cornell, Organ - S. Turrentine, Composer - S. Turrentine, Lyricist

Originally released 1971. All rights reserved by Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
So What (Album Version)
George Benson
00:09:17

George Benson, Vocal - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Ron Carter, Bass - Creed Taylor, Producer - Clarence Palmer, Organ - M. Davis, Lyricist - M. Davis, Composer - Jack DeJohnette, Drums

Originally released 1971. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Ode to a Kudu (alt. take)
George Benson
00:04:38

Seth Rothstein, Project Coordinator - G. Benson, Lyricist - G. Benson, Composer - Tony Martell, Executive Producer - Didier C. Deutsch, Re-Issue Producer - Albert Nicholson, Percussion - Danny Kadar, Mixing Engineer - Creed Taylor, Producer - Jack DeJohnette, Drums - David Swope, 2nd Engineer - George Benson, Vocal - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Ron Carter, Bass - Michael Cameron, Percussion - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Tom Ruff, Mastering Engineer - Clarence Palmer, Organ

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
California Dreamin' (Album Version)
George Benson
00:07:19

Billy Cobham, Drums - Airto Moreira, Vocal - Airto Moreira, Percussion - Jeffrey Phillips, Composer - Jeffrey Phillips, Lyricist - Herbie Hancock, Piano - Wayne Andre, Trombone - M. Phillips, Composer - M. Phillips, Lyricist - Phil Kraus, Percussion - Creed Taylor, Producer - Jay Berliner, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - John Frosk, Trumpet - John Frosk, Flugelhorn - Romeo Penque, Flute - Romeo Penque, Clarinet - Romeo Penque, Oboe - Romeo Penque, Bass Clarinet - Romeo Penque, English Horn - Alan Rubin, Flugelhorn - Alan Rubin, Trumpet - Phil Bodner, Flute - Phil Bodner, Oboe - Jim Buffington, French Horn - Hubert Laws, Flute - Hubert Laws, Piccolo - Ron Carter, Bass - JANE TAYLOR, Bassoon - Gloria Agostini, Harp - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - George Marge, Flute - George Marge, Clarinet - George Marge, Oboe - George Marge, English Horn

Originally released 1971. All rights reserved Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

DISQUE 2

1
White Rabbit (Album Version)
George Benson
00:06:55

GRACE SLICK, Composer - GRACE SLICK, Lyricist - Billy Cobham, Drums - Airto Moreira, Vocal - Airto Moreira, Percussion - Herbie Hancock, Piano - Don Sebesky, Arranger - Wayne Andre, Trombone - Phil Kraus, Percussion - Creed Taylor, Producer - Jay Berliner, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - John Frosk, Trumpet - John Frosk, Flugelhorn - Romeo Penque, Flute - Romeo Penque, Clarinet - Romeo Penque, Oboe - Romeo Penque, Bass Clarinet - Romeo Penque, English Horn - Alan Rubin, Flugelhorn - Alan Rubin, Trumpet - Phil Bodner, Flute - Phil Bodner, Oboe - Jim Buffington, French Horn - Hubert Laws, Flute - Hubert Laws, Piccolo - Ron Carter, Bass - JANE TAYLOR, Bassoon - Gloria Agostini, Harp - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - George Marge, Flute - George Marge, Clarinet - George Marge, Oboe - George Marge, English Horn

Originally released 1971. All rights reserved Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Body Talk (Album Version)
George Benson
00:08:20

G. Benson, Lyricist - G. Benson, Composer - John Gatchell, Trumpet - John Gatchell, Flugelhorn - Waymon Reed, Trumpet - Waymon Reed, Flugelhorn - George Bensen, Guitar - Jon Faddis, Trumpet - Jon Faddis, Flugelhorn - Mobutu, Percussion - Earl Klugh, Guitar - Creed Taylor, Producer - Jack DeJohnette, Drums - Harold Mabern, Piano - Frank Foster, Tenor Saxophone - Gerald Chaimberlain, Trombone - George Benson, Performer - Ron Carter, Bass - Dick Griffen, Trombone - Gary King, Bass

(P) 1973 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Take Five (Album Version)
George Benson
00:07:07

Jesse Levy, Acoustic Cello - Margaret Ross, Harp - Paul Desmond, Composer - Paul Desmond, Lyricist - Charles McCracken, Acoustic Cello - Wayne Andre, Trombone - Brooks Tillitson, French Horn - Joe Shepley, Trumpet - Creed Taylor, Producer - John Frosk, Trumpet - Garnett Brown, Trombone - Kenny Barron, Piano - Seymour Barab, Acoustic Cello - Alan Rubin, Trumpet - Phil Bodner, Flute - Phil Bodner, Clarinet - Phil Bodner, English Horn - Jim Buffington, French Horn - Ray Beckenstein, Flute - Ray Beckenstein, Clarinet - Ray Beckenstein, English Horn - Alan Schulman, Celesta - Ron Carter, Bass - Phil Upchurch, Guitar - Steve Gadd, Drums - Paul Tobias, Acoustic Cello - Frank Levy, Acoustic Cello - George Benson, Electric Guitar - George Benson, Performer

(P) 1974 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Summertime (from Porgy And Bess (Live))
George Benson
00:06:02

I. Gershwin, Composer - I. Gershwin, Lyricist - G. Gershwin (1898-1937), Composer - G. Gershwin (1898-1937), Lyricist - Hubert Laws, Flute - Johnny Griggs, Percussion - Wayne Dockery, Bass - Creed Taylor, Producer - Ronnie Foster, Keyboards - Bernard Fennell, Acoustic Cello - Randy Armando, Percussion - Steve Gadd, Drums - Andy Newmark, Drums - D. Heyward, Composer - D. Heyward, Lyricist - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Will Lee, Bass - Marvin Chappell, Drums

(P) 1976 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Breezin' (Album Version)
George Benson
00:05:20

Ronnie Foster, Piano - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Jorge Dalto, Piano - Tommy LiPuma, Producer - B. Womack, Composer - B. Womack, Lyricist - Phil Upchurch, Bass - Ralph MacDonald, Percussion - Harvey Mason, Drums

(P) 1976 Warner Bros. Records, Inc.

6
This Masquerade (Album Version)
George Benson
00:08:01

Stanley Banks, Bass - Ronnie Foster, Piano - George Benson, Vocal - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Jorge Dalto, Piano - Tommy LiPuma, Producer - L. RUSSELL, Composer - L. RUSSELL, Lyricist - Ralph MacDonald, Percussion - Harvey Mason, Drums

(P) 1976 Warner Bros. Records, Inc.

7
On Broadway (Live)
George Benson
00:10:07

M. Stoller, Composer - M. Stoller, Lyricist - Tommy LiPuma, Producer - Ralph MacDonald, Percussion - B. MANN, Composer - B. MANN, Lyricist - J. Leiber, Composer - J. Leiber, Lyricist - Jorge Dalto, Keyboards - Jorge Dalto, Piano - Ronnie Foster, Keyboards - C. Weil, Composer - C. Weil, Lyricist - George Benson, Vocal - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Stanley Banks, Bass - Harvey Mason, Drums

(P) 1978 Warner Bros. Records, Inc.

8
Give Me The Night (Album Version)
George Benson
00:04:59

Lee Ritenour, Guitar - Diva gRAY, Background Vocal - Jerry Hey, Trumpet - Larry Williams, Flute - John Robinson, Drums - Patti Austin, Background Vocal - Tom Bahler, Background Vocal - Jocelyn Brown, Background Vocal - Herbie Hancock, Piano - Abraham Laboriel, Bass - Paulinho DaCosta, Percussion - R. Temperton, Composer - R. Temperton, Lyricist - George Benson, Vocal - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Quincy Jones, Producer - Michael Boddicker, Synthesizer - Jim Gilstrap, Background Vocal - Kim Hutchcroft, Saxophone

(P) 1980 Warner Bros. Records, Inc.

9
Hip Skip (Album Version)
George Benson
00:08:05

Jan Hammer, Keyboards - George Benson, Guitar - George Benson, Performer - Paul Jackson, Bass - G. Benson, Composer - G. Benson, Lyricist - Michael Brecker, Tenor Saxophone - Ralph MacDonald, Percussion - Tony Williams, Producer - Tony Williams, Drums

(P) 1979 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Gotham City (Album Version)
Dexter Gordon
00:09:19

Michael Cuscuna, Producer - George Benson, Guitar - Dexter Gordon, Performer - Dexter Gordon, Tenor Saxophone - D. Gordon, Composer - D. Gordon, Lyricist - Percy Heath, Bass - Jim Fishel, Producer - Cedar Walton, Piano - Art Blakey, Drums

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Descriptif de l'album

The Essential George Benson covers 28 years and spans two discs, so it lives up to its claim of having the widest scope of all the Benson compilations that surfaced before it. While it's impressive that Columbia/Legacy didn't merely mine Columbia and CTI dates, and licensed material from Warner Bros. and Prestige as well (the brief Verve period is unrepresented), you could also say that the label also spread itself thin, with several crucial moments in Benson's career unable to fit. If Columbia/Legacy were honest, they'd position this as more of a sampler with a few curve balls. No matter what era you prefer, you're going to come up short, and it's not as if most people who are curious about Benson are going to be open-minded enough to appreciate both "Clockwise" and the vastly different "Give Me the Night." Some of the surprise selections, which almost outnumber the obvious ones, include an alternate take of "Ode to a Kudu," "Hip Skip" (from Tony Williams' late-'70s Joy of Flying), "Rock Candy" (from Brother Jack McDuff Live!), and "Paraphernalia" (a bizarre pick for any form of anthology, from Miles Davis' Miles in the Sky). Even casual fans won't have to think too hard about essential cuts that aren't here -- "Durham's Turn," "Nature Boy," "The World Is a Ghetto," "Love X Love," and on and on, but the majority of what's here cannot be challenged. This is a way to begin -- not wrap up -- your fascination with Benson. It is representative of the breadth of his career from 1963 through 1980, but it could have just as easily been done a dozen other ways. The sound is vibrant, and Benson's track-by-track commentary adds a nice touch.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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