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The George Benson Cookbook

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Album Review

The second of Benson's John Hammond-produced albums is far and away the superior of the pair, mixing down-to-basics, straight-ahead jazz with soul-drenched grooving. Suddenly Benson's backup group - same as that of Uptown, with Benny Green added on trombone now and then - has found its bearings and apropos to the title, they can cook, even sizzle. The effect upon Benson's own playing is striking; with something to react against, his sheer ability to swing advances into the realm of awesome. The rapid-fire work on "The Cooker" and "Ready And Able" will make you gasp. Only one vocal here, an exuberant "All Of Me." [In mid-2001 Columbia/Legacy reissued this 1966 classic, along with It's Uptown, recorded only several months earlier. Four bonus tracks include a (previously unreleased) doo wop vocal rendition of Little Willie John's "Let Them Talk" and two Benson originals that are pure rock-n-roll: "The Man from Toledo" and "Goodnight." Two of the bonus cuts are preceded by control-booth comments from the session's legendary producer, John Hammond.] ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

The George Benson Cookbook

Unfortunately, it's one of the FEW jazz albums Benson ever made. I can't blame the brother for wanting to get over, but once he figured out he could make a ton more money crooning formulaic R&B ("Masquerade", "Turn Your Love Around") and playing Jazz Lite ("Breezin'"), he pretty much checked his serious jazz chops at the door. (The parallels between Benson and Wes Montgomery are uncanny. Both great Jazz guitarists sold out to Creed Taylor, who made them rich and destroyed their art.) Happily, jazz guitar fans have this album to fall back on. Benson plays his butt off, and has a great sideman in Ronnie Cuber, arguably one of the best (along with Pepper Adams) baritone sax players from the 1960's. Skip Breezin', buy Cookbook.

Now this is jazz

This the first jazz album George Benson has made !


Genre: Jazz

These days, George Benson (born March 22, 1943, Pittsburgh, PA) is often described as a commercial R&B/pop singer who sometimes moonlights as a pop-jazz guitarist. But early in his career -- when Benson was still in his twenties -- the jazz world thought of him as a guitar-playing hard bop/soul-jazz instrumentalist whose primary influences were Wes Montgomery and Charlie Christian. In the early to mid-'60s, Benson was the epitome of straight-ahead jazz -- and jazz purists loved the bop-oriented direction...
Full Bio
The George Benson Cookbook, The George Benson Quartet
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Crossover Jazz
  • Released: 1966

Customer Ratings