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Tell It Like It Is

George Benson

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Album Review

Trying to shake things up, producer Creed Taylor brought in arranger Marty Sheller from Mongo Santamaria's Afro-Cuban band, reduced the sizes of the servings (no track is longer than 3:45), cranked up the decibels to a raucous level, and presented Benson in what he hoped would be a radio-friendly setting. The wonder is that Benson manages to transcend the blasting Latin-percussion-spiced production, the tight time limits, and all with often brilliantly tasty guitar fills and brief solos in many styles and three reverb-heavy vocals. The most attractive - and most frustrating - track is Eumir Deodato's lovely "Jackie, All;" George states the tune twice and just as he starts a beautiful solo, the faders go down at the 2:15 mark! Damn. Worth hearing despite the long production knives. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Biography

Born: March 22, 1943 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

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

George Benson is simply one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history, but he is also an amazingly versatile musician, and that frustrates to no end critics who would paint him into a narrow bop box. He can play in just about any style — from swing to bop to R&B to pop — with supreme taste, a beautiful rounded tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing. His inspirations may have been Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery...
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Tell It Like It Is, George Benson
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