Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Livin' Inside Your Love
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: BENSON,GEORGE Title: LIVIN' INSIDE YOUR LOVE Street Release Date: 03/14/1989
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No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: LIVIN' INSIDE YOUR LOVE
Street Release Date: 03/14/1989
Sunny, warm, soulful, brilliant, and often astonishing!
songlife | Dayton, OH | 08/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album bedazzled me out for many years, when I was first discovering the talent of George Benson and the brilliance of his music. These days, having heard all the songs literally hundreds of times and knowing every single note by heart, I don't listen to it much anymore, except to put it on sometimes for a jolt of "Nassau Day". That's not to say it doesn't have lasting power - it truly does. It's absolutely fantastic. But when I hear an album so much, I eventually start to hear some annoyances in it, after the freshness has worn off. For example, the drums, played by Steve Gadd, were poorly recorded, and they sound very overdubbed. Gadd has no room to display his abilities at all; it really sounds like they brought him in one day and asked him to overdub the drums. He doesn't even sound like part of the group and he plays stiffly. The other overdubbing problem, sometimes, is the strings. This was part of producer Tommy LiPuma's grand plan for Benson's career from the start, to add strings to 75% of the songs on his albums, in order to ingratiate him into the pop/jazz society. The idea being, if pleasant-sounding strings introduce each song and pop in occasionally throughout, maybe people won't think of it as 'jazz', it'll be 'easy listening'. Well, it worked. But unfortunately, it's also the reason why we always hear this music in grocery stores and elevators - just like with Wes Montgomery's so-called pop albums. And the strings will instantly alienate any hard-core jazzer that hears them, which is unfortunate because this album has great rewards for those who can get over its pop concessions. The strings are unnecessary, but they don't spoil the music. Fortunately, they're well written, and they do provide a short, pleasant introduction to some songs (not all, thankfully). It's a very happy album, in the same way that "Breezin" was.The standout track is the Caribbean-flavored instrumental "Nassau Day". Written by Ronnie Foster, who also plays on it, this track has what might be GB's most amazing solo on record. His jawdropping creativity and stunning technique shine all over his solo. He was ON that day! I'll tell you a secret though: Ronnie did his own version of the song, on his own album called "Love Satellite", and it's even better than George's!The rest of the album is great too - not one dud on what was originally a two-record set. GB wrote some catchy and highly sophisticated melodies including "Before You Go" and "You're Never Too Far From Me". His solos on those are stuff scientists should study. Vocal-wise, all are good, with highlights including his passionate, heartfelt scat solos on "Love Is A Hurting Thing" and "Love Ballad"; great renditions of Carole King's "Hey Girl" and Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come", and his own "Welcome Into My World", which is one of the few examples of GB's own lyrics. About half this album is pure soul, singing in the style of Stevie Wonder, and doing a great job of it. Stevie has said he greatly admires George's singing, and in fact you can hear him singing on Stevie's song "Another Star". Adding to the happy, positive vibe of the album are the frequent, thoughful rhodes/piano solos of Foster and Jorge Dalto. Those two were stars in their own right; both made many excellent solo albums that I recommend you seek out. I've managed to find most of them on import CD, but a few (like "Love Satellite") haven't made it to CD yet. Percussionist extraordinaire Ralph MacDonald, who is on this album too, has also made many outstanding albums, his best being "Surprize" (also not on CD). To sum up, this is one of George's best albums (probably his best Warner album, although all his 70's output is great), and his guitar playing and vocals are possibly the best he ever did. I realize some people prefer his early jazz albums, but frankly, his top-notch guitar playing on this album would be hard to find a match for even by GB himself. He's superhuman. He has a master's ability to play solos - he organizes them perfectly, meticulously building sophisticated line after line, adding in big clusters of notes, trilling effects, octaves and other combinations, anything he can think of to energize the song - all totally clean, without any effects or pedals or distortion like so many others use who don't even have 1% of the talent he does. Benson never needed that stuff; his mind and fingers are all he relies on.I give the album 5 stars EVEN THOUGH the production and engineering are below average (and the leisure suit is annoying), because George's genius and talent burst right through the minor problems and really shine. 'Shine' is a good word because when I think of this album, I think of a sunny summer's day. People who get hung up on the sometimes condescending nature of the production are really missing out, because whether listened to closely and intently or as background music, this album really rewards, and above all it will make you feel good. For some unknown reason, hardly any of these songs (except a couple hits) are ever included on George's many anthologies, so it's definitely one to buy. This CD is a prime candidate for a new reissue. They need to go back to the original tapes, fix the drum problems, spiff up the sound, maybe even make it a 2 CD set by adding some alternate takes, if they can find any. They've been ignoring this one for years - maybe because they see George's disco suit, and think "dated, won't sell". Well, it won't sell much because the public at large doesn't like good music, I admit that, but they've done it for other albums, why not this one? And it's not dated - aside from a moog here and there."
One of my top 25 favourite jazz albums ever!
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 08/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As well as considering him an incredibly accomplished jazz guitarist, I also happen to love George Benson's voice. He has a rich, warm and soulful tone and just as his guitar playing looks to Wes Montgomery for inspiration and influence, his singing style is clearly influenced by Donny Hathaway, who in my view was the greatest soul singer who ever lived.
So I really don't mind it when Benson decides to sing on his albums. If anything, I look forward to it. Or at least I used to. I was happy as long as he kept the balance right and during what I refer to as the early Tommy LiPuma years, (which took in albums like 1976's Breezin', 1977's In Flight, 1978's Weekend in L.A. and this one from 1979), he seemed to do that that. As much as he may have wished to be a pop star, I feel he made a huge mistake when he later on seemed to turn his back on his fans that were drawn to him primarily for his guitar playing. 1980's Give Me the Night was an excellent record, (not least due to Quincy Jones's production) but it only had two instrumental tracks on an album of ten songs. With subsequent albums (20/20 and In Your Eyes particularly spring to mind), while there were moments of admirable artistry, the jazz elements, such as there were, seemed to be add-ons as opposed to the main event. The man apparently seemed to become less interested in being known as a great jazz musician and much more interested in being taken as a Billboard chart and MTV sensation. It wasn't until 1987's Collaboration with Earl Klugh and then 1989's Tenderly (both also produced by LiPuma, by the way), that I finally heard Benson return close to his jazz roots. Sadly, he didn't stay there but that's another story.
Anyway, this particular album, one of my top 25 jazz albums ever, is a prime example of how that balance should be struck in my view. Twelve songs spread over what I used to have on a double fold-out album but now have on CD, and there are six vocal tracks, five instrumental ones and one (the title track), which aims to be an instrumental but which I consider a half and half. Produced by the legendary LiPuma, recorded and mixed by Al Schmitt and with beautiful orchestration arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman, this is probably one of Benson's best ever recordings. It's certainly his most well-rounded. Featuring regular collaborators like Ronnie Foster, Jorge Dalto, Ralph McDonald, Phil Upchurch, Greg Phillinganes and even Earl Klugh (who wrote and performed on the title track), this is one not to be missed. The album is a delight from start to end and I'm especially pleased I don't have to get up any more after every third song to change the record over.
My favourite tunes include the instrumentals "Nassau Day" (written by Ronnie Foster), "You're Never Too Far From Me" and "Before You Go" (both penned by Benson himself), the vocal tunes "Love Ballad" (written by the brilliant Skip Scarborough), "Welcome Into My World" (also written by Benson), "A Change Is Gonna Come", which stands up respectfully and respectably alongside the Sam Cooke original, and the best version of "Unchained Melody" I have ever heard in my life. And I've heard a number.
I hope Benson was happy with it. I know the album had huge success in the charts back then and I remember hearing "Love Ballad" (with Benson's brilliant scat along vocals on the instrumental break) on the radio day and night for ages afterwards.
And then "Give Me The Night" came along and changed everything...
One Of Benson's Best...
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 03/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Love this recording for the sheer soulful/jazz-like brilliance.Even Benson's take on the Righteous Brothers classic Unchained Melody is an excellent re-make with a slightly altered arrangement. Whether some of these tracks are pure Benson-guitar intrumentals with an orchestrated-jazz band, or accompanied by his vocals the magnitude each song presents is a breath of fresh air.The entire project garners 5 stars plus for all the soft, sensual, and seductive smoldering soul and light jazz everybody should have in their lives (and cd collection)! This album was released before his famous R&B track Give Me The Night. Don't expect Livin' Inside Your Love to have the same R&B pop flavor but rather it's beginnings for the early 80's..."