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Give Me the Night

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Album Review

This is the peak of George Benson's courtship of the mass market — a superbly crafted and performed pop album with a large supporting cast — and wouldn't you know that Quincy Jones, the master catalyst, is the producer. Q's regular team, including the prolific songwriter Rod Temperton and the brilliant engineer Bruce Swedien, is in control, and Benson's voice, caught beautifully in the rich, floating sound, had never before been put to such versatile use. On "Moody's Mood," Benson really exercises his vocalese chops and proves that he is technically as fluid as just about any jazz vocalist, and he become a credible rival to Al Jarreau on the joyous title track. Benson's guitar now plays a subsidiary role — only two of the ten tracks are instrumentals — but Q has him play terrific fills behind the vocals and in the gaps, and the engineering gives his tone a variety of striking, new, full-sounding timbres. The instrumentals themselves are marvelous: "Off Broadway" is driving and danceable, and Ivan Lins' "Dinorah, Dinorah" grows increasingly seductive with each play. Benson should have worked with Jones from this point on, but this would be their only album together. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Timeless

I can't believe I'm the first to review this album. This brings back so many good memories and it's extremely hard to believe it was 29 years ago! There is little music being put out anymore. Glad to know I have this to listen to.

His Best Work!

I can't believe that this album is not one of the top 5 G.B 's best sellers here in iTunes.Simply this is a great album at least 8 of the 10 tracks are wonderful tracks. This album was produced by the great Quincy Jones and that is way this album is solid, sure in addition to the pure talent of G.B.

A Sensual Atmospheric Triumph

In 1980, near "Off the Wall", Quincy Jones had hit a career zenith producing Michael Jackson, Rufus' "Masterjam" and this jazz/Quiet Storm classic, "Give Me the Night". Using the brilliance of Rod Temperton's (Heatwave) songwriting and his engineering team, this has to be regarded as the true follow-up to "Breezin'", Benson's commercial breakthrough.

"Dinorah, Dinorah" is almost as fluid as "Breezin'" as Benson's guitar enters and exciting play against his vocals. If "This Masquerade" was a pleasant, vocal surprise, the vocals on "Give Me the Night" gives Marvin's "You Sure Love to Ball" and Teddy Pendergrass' "Close the Door" true competition for the ultimate bedroom seducer.

In classic Quincy studio wizardry, this album sounds fabulous, it drips with class and ranks as one of the most romantic albums of its time. "Give Me the Night", the title track hit the upper reaches of the urban and pop charts. His cover of "Moody's Mood" is one of the best tributes to James Moody's seminal classic ever put to vinyl.

The romance and sensuality is served up in delicious doses on the final four tracks beginning with "Love Dance", a near a capella triumph of simplicity with jazz flavorings, the cover of Heatwave's "Star of the Story" fits like a dream into this psalm. Late night creeping never felt so silky as in "Midnight Love Affair" ending with the heartbreaking, heart soothing "Turn Off the Lamplight".

This album haunted me for months when I recalled how special it sounded that summer of '80. It is an easy tie with "Breezin'" for his ultimate crossover achievement.

Biography

Born: March 22, 1943 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Simply one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history, George Benson is an amazingly versatile musician, whose adept skills find him crossing easily between straight-ahead jazz, smooth jazz, and contemporary R&B. Blessed with supreme taste, a beautiful, rounded guitar tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing, Benson's inspirations may have been Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery, but his style is completely his own. Not only...
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