Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
In Concert-Carnegie Hall
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
Featuring Hubert Laws, Ronnie Foster, Will Lee and Steve Gadd — This stellar live recording, made one year before the massive crossover success of Breezin' features the guitar master burning through Paul Desmond's Take Five... more »
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Featuring Hubert Laws, Ronnie Foster, Will Lee and Steve Gadd
This stellar live recording, made one year before the massive crossover success of Breezin' features the guitar master burning through Paul Desmond's Take Five, Freddie Hubbard's soulful Sky Dive, and two hard-grooving Benson originals. And although he had sung on record previously, his unique vocal approach to Gershwin's Summertime raises the bar considerably, clearly setting the stage for This Masquerade, On Broadway, and other hits.
This indispensable recording documents a landmark concert by an absolute genius at one of the world's great venues.
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Average Benson in His Best Days
bruleon | Rio de Janeiro | 10/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Benson is playing wildly and creatively in this album which presents one of his performances at Carnegie Hall and is also one of his last CTI recordings. The version of Paul Desmond`s Take Five and his performance in Octane are the greatest highlights of an album which contains Benson in an average performance which is still far beyond any other jazz guitar player. A must-buy."
Fast fluid fingers on guitar
Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 03/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As another customer reviewer has stated Benson, " is still beyond any other jazz palyer." I would disagree in that it is an average performance but quite the opposite, it is a superb performance. I saw Benson perform some ten years ago in Cancun , Mexico at a jazz festival and he was then as in this Cagnegie Hall performance the master of understatement that is outshined by his brilliant fluidity and technique on guitar. His casual demeanor, his slow hand guitar licks that can erupt suddenly into a volley of rapid fire dips and bends in brilliant light speed as he makes transitions on chords is one that leaves you in awe wondering how the heck can he do that. The improvisional manipulations are intense and often. On this particular date from 1975 the disc features four songs that are stretched to their jazz limits. Noted side personnel include drummer extrodanaire Steve Gadd and jazz frontman and flutist Hubert Laws. On "Octane" Laws continues the pace established by Benson with some soaring runs up and down the flute register at premium with added booster octane speed. This is not a pop-jazz peformance but more of a traditional jazz concert. The exception is "Summertime" that includes the GB vocals that catapulted his career with the disc "Breezin" and the crossover hit "Masquerade." When GB gives his soulfull rendition of "Summertime" his vocals are another instrument in true jazz fashion, stretching and trying the limits. He goes into a beautiful harmony of scat singing simutaneously with his guitar picking that brings the polite audience into a spontaneous applause. This is an exceptional bit of singing and playing at the same time in the jazz idiom that seperates him from many others. His style is highly reminiscent of the late great Wes Montgomery with warm hues and a thick rich sound. The recording was mixed and mastered by the jazz peerless sound artist Rudy Van Gelder. This recording is one in a long line of excllent recordings by George Benson that is a must own for anyone who enjoys jazz guitar. This is a piece of Carnegie Hall history for those that couldn't be there."
Hi-octane bebop guitar. Benson at his very best.
P.J. Le Faucheur | Canada (ex- U.K. resident) | 08/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is from 1972 and is for hardbop guitar players. If you a fan of the the 1978 R&B pop singer then please look elsewhere. Thankfully George's vocals play a backseat role on this CD. Benson's guitar has never been so alive with ammunition . The tune "Octane" is taken at breakneck pace and when the walking bass part enters the scene George lambasts you with one of the fastest, cleanest, most precise hard bop solos evocative of something Pat Martino would attempt after three Ecstasy tablets. The sound is crystal clear on this recording.
When i was alot younger my fave track on here was "Gone" which is laid back & dreamy and allows space for Benson to move with stealth across the melodic lines. Hubert Laws's flute is wonderful on this tune also. "Summertime" is a track to be found on several other CDs (lifted from this album). Unlike Georges early hip rendition this one is moody and features lengthy scat vocals. He he draws much applause from the Carnegie audience midway through the scatting.
Personally i find scat vocals abit tiresome but in this case it all fits together nicely.
Possibly the best playing of George Benson is captured live on this CD. None of his other live albums have the same quality of material (which is largely bebop based)nor do they possess the clear sound quality."