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George Benson & Jack McDuff

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Reseña de álbum

George Benson's facile post-Wes Montgomery single-line and chord-accented style was well received in his salad days of the mid- to late '60s. Primarily self-taught and ear-trained, he made great strides in a five-year period around his native Pittsburgh, working with organist Jack McDuff on the East Coast chitlin circuit. As the soul-jazz and boogaloo movement was establishing itself, Benson was right in the pocket, as these seminal mid-'60s sessions perfectly illustrate. In tandem with saxophonist Red Holloway, the two Prestige label LPs New Boss Guitar and Hot Barbeque were initially reissued in 1977 on a vinyl two-fer, and now on this single CD. The first two tracks, "Shadow Dancers" and "The Sweet Alice Blues," sans McDuff though toeing the groove line, are the most original and modern numbers. The remaining tracks on the New Boss Guitar 1964 dates add McDuff, with "Just Another Sunday" a gold standard for the emerging style. Benson's balladic expertise during "Easy Living" is as impressive as in the different dynamic of the rompin' stompin' "Rock-A-Bye." From May Day of 1965, the title cut and original version of "Hot Barbeque" has become an all-time hit and ultimate groove biscuit. Drummer Joe Dukes is the difference maker, as his fluid ease in either swinging or mixing hard bop with R&B fifty-fifty effectively drives the band so simply. "Briar Patch" approaches rock & roll, while "Hippy Dip" shows a completely unified Benson and McDuff on a fun melody line. A most arresting high-register organ sound, near unearthly, surrounds an easy swing on "The Party's Over." In addition, check out the slow late-night blues "I Don't Know" (from the 1964 dates) and "Cry Me a River" from 1965. Although Benson would reach a zenith in his short career as a jazz musician during this period, before abandoning its purity for commercial pop singing, Holloway and McDuff went on and on and on to their own great acclaim. This is Benson's initial emergence, and a valuable reminder of how great he once was. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

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Great opportunity to hear the real George Benson

It's too bad that George Benson decided to go the way of "Breezin" and the rest of the smooth jazz stuff with which he's more widely known. This album shows him for the true guitar genius he was. His interplay here with Jack McDuff is about as good as it gets. McDuff, who is one of my favorite organists, is always fun and can really bring it. George Benson can flat out play and you can hear it on this. You'll end up getting mad after listening, however, because it was such a waste for to chose the path he did. He was too good to ultimately play for the Vegas types who think of him more as a singer. Although I can't blame him - ask someone on the street who Jack McDuff is and their more likely to say he's the guy in Pirates of the Caribbean.


Nacido(a): 22 de marzo de 1943 en Pittsburgh, PA

Género: Jazz

Años de actividad: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

George Benson es, sin más, uno de los más grandes guitarristas de la historia del jazz, pero también un músico sorprendentemente versátil. Puede tocar casi cualquier estilo –del swing al bop, al R&B, al pop– con impecable gusto, un sonido hermoso y redondo, una increíble velocidad, una maravillosa lógica en la construcción de los solos y siempre, con una insaciable sed de swing. Benson también canta, tiene un registro de tenor opulento y expresivo, con características...
Biografía completa
George Benson & Jack McDuff, George Benson
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