Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
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Similarly Requested CDs
Vintage Benson From A Turbulent Era
David S. Minjares | Montebello, CA. USA | 07/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There was that absolutely beautiful and underrated time in jazz when unabashed soul/R&B elements were used without hesitation, not only for the sake of dancing, but to keep the standards tradition in jazz more than alive (and almost as a silent yet listenable rebellion against the avant-garde). "Giblet Gravy" by George Benson is a wonderful and timeless example of the above. Equally divided between big band & small group funk with straight ahead, this album never fails to make one grin as wide as the mountains. How can one NOT get a kick out of tracks like "Thunder Walk" & "Low Down And Dirty" and Benson's great unstrained takes on pop chestnuts "Walk On By", "Along Comes Mary" and "Groovin'"? The bonus tracks are precious: Bird's "Billie's Bounce" and TWO takes on "What's New"...all good.Then there's Benson's playing. Thick, warm, soulful and REAL...now lost with his last batch of anonymous releases. If you want to get a good feel for GREAT Benson (before the makeover), this is highly worth your time."
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 02/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a George Benson fan since I first heard his crossover Breezin' album back in the 1970s. But it was the guitar-playing Benson and not the singing Benson who caught my attention, so as his music drifted further from jazz into pop and soul I lost interest in him. However, going backwards from Breezin', I have discovered the roots of his musical genius. Early on, I found White Rabbit and Good King Bad to be some of the best music to be had. Sadly, many of his earlier CDs were hard to find or out of print, so I was unable to discover much more about him.
Today, with the ubiquity of CDs and the flourishing of music sites on the internet, more old albums are being remastered and re-released so that music lovers can catch up on things they missed and the musicians can continue to cash in on old efforts couched in a new format. Among those re-issued are many from the George Benson catalogue, including Giblet Gravy, which is one of his earliest solo albums.
In the context of its time, Giblet Gravy offers up some deliciously groundbreaking music. There is a mix of contemporary pop, jazz standards, and a couple of excellent Benson-penned tunes. It is Benson's emerging style along with the virtuosity of his back-up team which makes this CD so appealing. He even makes a jejune top 40 tune like Along Comes Mary sound good!
My favorites here are his cover of Bobby Hebb's Sunny, an excellent rendition of Walk On By that rivals Isaac Hayes' cover, Thunder Walk, Sack of Woe, the bonus Billie's Bounce, and all three takes of What's New? The standout is Benson's own Low Down and Dirty, a slow jazz number that just cooks.
If you are a fan of George Benson the jazz man as opposed to George Benson the crooner and you have yet to hear Giblet Gravy, then you are in for a treat. Buy it while you still can."
Landmark in jazzguitar
Anders Jonasson | Bankeryd Sweden | 11/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was happy to order this CD a few days ago..and I am writing this review without having listened to the record for at least 25 years!
Still... every tune is there in my mind...I heard the LP version even before I heard Grant Green..so it has been fundamental in the way I listen to music and of course the way I play as a jazzguitarist myself.
Benson was in Stockolm either 1967 or 1968 and I remember how taken I was by his playing then,,that fat clean smooth but still aggressive tone...There is a blues "LOW DOWN AND DIRTY" so subtle and so full of emotions and very very expressive and dynamic..never heard anything like that before or hardly even after..Herbie Hancock is supporting Benson in a wonderful way and then takes a solo that is breathtaking in it s own beauty.Another higlight is
Harold Ousleys funky swinger called "THUNDER WALK"
Benson must have been an extraordinary talent since he developed from a R&B singer into one of the most important jazzguitarists ever in only a few years. His years with McDuff in the beginning of the 60:s is probably a big part of the answer
The Benson influence the mix of pentatonic scales and dorian modes can be heard on some of his finest followers like
"TRUE BLUE" with Mark Whitfield or "AN EVENING AT SEA" with Henry Johnson more or less anything with JIMMY PONDER