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George Benson - Guitar Man

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Guitar Man

George Benson

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Guitar Man, George Benson's second offering for Concord stands in contrast to 2009's Songs and Stories, though is not an about face. While the earlier album focused on Benson's proven, decades-long formula for pop and smooth jazz -- a group of of easy grooving tunes featuring his silky voice and shimmering guitar work -- this set focuses (primarily) on Benson as a contemporary jazz guitarist. While slickly produced by John Burk, this full-length is an ambitious but readily accessible collection with lithe, languid grooves and stellar playing. Primarily arranged by musical director/keyboardist David Garfield, Guitar Man contains eight instrumentals, which include beautiful solo readings of the standards "Tenderly," which opens the disc, and "Danny Boy." There is a lush, balladic, string-laden arrangement of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" -- a consciously chosen reminder of Benson's work at A&M. Another highlight is his very contemporary but digified reading of John Coltrane's "Naima," which is simply gorgeous. It begins largely solo before the band enters halfway through, led by Harvey Mason's empathic drumming. The reading of "Tequila" here is warm, funky, and fun, with fine piano work by Joe Sample and percussion by Lenny Castro. Likewise, the reading of Arlen's and Harburg's "Paper Moon" displays beautiful interplay between Benson and Sample. Of the vocal tunes, the cover of Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" is the standout, but "My One and Only Love," with a long solo guitar intro, is very fine too. The set ends with two vocal tunes that contrast nicely. First is a very soulful treatment of the Buddy Johnson nugget "Since I Fell for You," with his voice and guitar accompanied only by Garfield's piano. Guitar Man finishes with Ronnie Foster's Latin-tinged groover "Fingerlero." Sample, Mason, and Castro star on the tune and Benson scats in trademark tandem with his guitar lines, sending it off in a contemporary jazz mode. As a guitarist, Benson is still at the top of his game; his musical eclecticism and his on-target accessibility are refined and equally reflected here.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Guitar Man

George Benson

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1
Tenderly
00:02:01

George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Lawrence, ComposerLyricist - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - WALTER GROSS, ComposerLyricist - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

2
I Want To Hold Your Hand
00:05:09

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Bisharat, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Higgins, Clarinet, Flute, Alto Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Garfield, Keyboards, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Jackson, Jr., Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Fuller, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Oscar Seaton, Jr., Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

3
My Cherie Amour
00:04:08

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Cosby, ComposerLyricist - Sylvia Moy, ComposerLyricist - Lenny Castro, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - George Benson, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stevie Wonder, ComposerLyricist - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Garfield, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Williams, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

4
Naima
00:03:41

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Coltrane, ComposerLyricist - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Garfield, Keyboards, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Williams, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

5
Tequila
00:04:30

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Castro, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - JOE SAMPLE, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - George Benson, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Garfield, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Flores, ComposerLyricist - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Williams, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

6
Don't Know Why
00:02:45

Lenny Castro, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jesse Harris, ComposerLyricist - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Garfield, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

7
The Lady In My Life
00:04:30

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Bisharat, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Rod Temperton, ComposerLyricist - George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Garfield, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Williams, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Walden, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

8
My One And Only Love
00:03:24

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - JOE SAMPLE, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - George Benson, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Garfield, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Mellin, ComposerLyricist - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Guy Wood, ComposerLyricist - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Williams, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

9
Paper Moon
00:02:44

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Harold Arlen, Composer - JOE SAMPLE, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Billy Rose, Composer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - E.Y. HARBURG, Composer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Williams, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

10
Danny Boy
00:03:26

George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Frederic Weatherly, ComposerLyricist - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

11
Since I Fell For You
00:02:58

George Benson, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Buddy Johnson, ComposerLyricist - David Garfield, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

12
Fingerlero
00:03:39

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Castro, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - JOE SAMPLE, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - George Benson, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie Foster, ComposerLyricist - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Garfield, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Williams, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Concord Music Group, Inc.

13
Sophisticated Lady
00:01:38

Duke Ellington, ComposerLyricist - Mitchell Parish, ComposerLyricist - George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Irving Mills, ComposerLyricist - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Craft Recordings.

14
Maria
00:02:13

Stephen Sondheim, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Bernstein, ComposerLyricist - George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Craft Recordings.

15
Send In The Clowns
00:01:26

Stephen Sondheim, ComposerLyricist - George Benson, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Schmitt, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aaron Walk, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Geoff Gillette, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Yutaka Yokokura, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Burk, Producer - Aaron Mattes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Blakemore, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Seth Presant, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mauricio Cajueiro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Craft Recordings.

Album Description

Guitar Man, George Benson's second offering for Concord stands in contrast to 2009's Songs and Stories, though is not an about face. While the earlier album focused on Benson's proven, decades-long formula for pop and smooth jazz -- a group of of easy grooving tunes featuring his silky voice and shimmering guitar work -- this set focuses (primarily) on Benson as a contemporary jazz guitarist. While slickly produced by John Burk, this full-length is an ambitious but readily accessible collection with lithe, languid grooves and stellar playing. Primarily arranged by musical director/keyboardist David Garfield, Guitar Man contains eight instrumentals, which include beautiful solo readings of the standards "Tenderly," which opens the disc, and "Danny Boy." There is a lush, balladic, string-laden arrangement of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" -- a consciously chosen reminder of Benson's work at A&M. Another highlight is his very contemporary but digified reading of John Coltrane's "Naima," which is simply gorgeous. It begins largely solo before the band enters halfway through, led by Harvey Mason's empathic drumming. The reading of "Tequila" here is warm, funky, and fun, with fine piano work by Joe Sample and percussion by Lenny Castro. Likewise, the reading of Arlen's and Harburg's "Paper Moon" displays beautiful interplay between Benson and Sample. Of the vocal tunes, the cover of Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" is the standout, but "My One and Only Love," with a long solo guitar intro, is very fine too. The set ends with two vocal tunes that contrast nicely. First is a very soulful treatment of the Buddy Johnson nugget "Since I Fell for You," with his voice and guitar accompanied only by Garfield's piano. Guitar Man finishes with Ronnie Foster's Latin-tinged groover "Fingerlero." Sample, Mason, and Castro star on the tune and Benson scats in trademark tandem with his guitar lines, sending it off in a contemporary jazz mode. As a guitarist, Benson is still at the top of his game; his musical eclecticism and his on-target accessibility are refined and equally reflected here.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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