Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beyond the Blue Horizon
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Featuring Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette and Clarence Palmer — Considered by many to be the legendary musician's most brilliant guitar recording, Beyond the Blue Horizon is a breathtakingly burning finger-busting jazz guitar c... more »
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Featuring Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette and Clarence Palmer
Considered by many to be the legendary musician's most brilliant guitar recording, Beyond the Blue Horizon is a breathtakingly burning finger-busting jazz guitar classic. This steady-grooving organ date featuring Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette was the first of many terrific recordings for CTI Records, with highlights including Benson's wonderfully lyrical playing on Ode to a Kudu, the bossa with a bite Gentle Rain, and the worldly vibe of Somewhere in the East. Particularly breathtaking is Benson's solo on a loosely funky version of So What. With a pristine-sounding 24-bit master and fresh liner notes adding an insightful historical perspective, this Mosaic Contemporary edition is a must-have for any serious jazz guitar fan.
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Classic George Benson!
Chris Covais | 08/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As much as I seem to loath George Benson's newer releases, I seem to want his old recordings more and more. I mostly love his albums during his stay at CTI, and his early Warner Brothers releases.
For those of you who don't know, George Benson's early days consisted of Benson covering jazz standards and turning them into funk tunes, and writing originals that grooved as well, with an ocassional straight ahead piece here and there.
Benson was anxiously wanting to sing, but Creed Taylor thought it would be best if he stayed an instrumentalist. Now I love George Benson voice, and I dig when he sings, but if the singing is the main attraction, I'm not gonna like it.
Here, Benson focuses on his guitar playing, and the outcome is great. The album opens up with Miles Davis's classic, So What, this time done very funked up, but during the solos the group swings it.
This is the epitome of George Benson's early career, and once he had a hit with On Broadway, it seemed he was more focused on playing pop music. But we still got these recordings to dig.
I'll always recommend George Benson Cookbook, Bad Benson, Other Side Of Abbey Road, and Breezin'. And I just checked out his most recent release, and I don't like it at all.
George Benson is a talented guitarist and singer, he's just following his heart, like Miles did in the 70's."
The Real George Benson!
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 06/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a George Benson fan for almost three decades now (though not so much in recent years) but for most of that time I was also a pretty ignorant one in that I used to believe his career began with 1976's Breezin'. I know better now of course. Fine an album as that one was (and still is) though, a few albums preceded it that were far superior, especially in terms of his jazz guitar playing. I'm thinking about White Rabbit, (also released in 1971), 1973's Body Talk and 1974's Bad Benson, and even after all this time, these are still some of my favourites.
This one I missed though. Recorded in 1971, I recently learned that it's considered by many to be one of his best. The sticker label on the front of the CD proclaims it as "the legendary musician's most brilliant guitar recording. A breathtakingly burning finger-bursting jazz guitar classic!" and after just one listen I have to say I totally agree. There are no vocals at all on this one, not even Benson's trademark background scatting, which alone marks it out. The guitar playing is mesmerisingly interesting.
There were five tracks on the original album, produced by Creed Taylor and it features other legends like Ron Carter on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums, with Clarence Palmer on organ, and Michael Cameron & Albert Nicholson on percussion. This (probably remastered) reissue has three extra tracks; alternate takes of "All Clear", "Ode To A Kudu" and "Somewhere In The East". These alternate takes are not quite as tight are the original versions and lean towards the smoother jazz Benson was to later become renowned for. No surprise there, I suppose.
I've always loved Benson's guitar improvisations but some of the stuff he does here - on the Bonfa/Duble tune "The Gentle Rain" and the exotic, worldly "Somewhere In The East" especially - is just crazy. The percussion on the tune is almost worth the price of the CD all on its own. "All Clear" has been one of my favourite tracks by Benson for the longest time ever since a friend put it in a compilation tape for me back in the old days. It's only recently I decided to find the album the song came from. I may have left it rather late but better late than never, no?
If you ever wanted to have an idea of how George Benson might have turned out if he hadn't tried to be a jazz guitarist AND a pop singer at the same time, this CD is definitely worth checking out. Personally, I love every minute of it.
P.J. Le Faucheur | Canada (ex- U.K. resident) | 01/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was Benson at his very best. No one can match his speed, dexterity, accuracy and feel as portrayed on these few tracks.
What he does with Luis Bonfa's classic samba "Gentle Rain" has to heard to be believed, you have to hang on tight to your armchair because Benson takes you on the ride of your life. George literally turns the neck of his guitar into pizza dough as he flies through the chord changes and unleashes chromatic runs, eastern sounding string rakes and "outside" harmonies that takes one through a period shared with organist Clarence Palmer where the tune is in the key of A minor but George is soloing in F minor yet it still fits in fine! (some 9 and a half minutes long is the track). The other tracks like "Ode To a Kudu" are all superb but this one is my favourite.
An absolutely brilliant album."