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George Benson

The George Benson Cookbook - George Benson

Check Out George Benson Cookbook Like legendary predecessors such as Nat "King" Cole and Louis Armstrong, singer/guitarist George Benson has become one of the few jazz artists to notch nearly equal acclaim as both an instrumental improvisor and pop vocal star. While recent fans may only know his scat-singing solo style and R&B-flavored jazz-pop records, Benson's recording career actually began at age 10, when he cut several R&B singles for a small label after sporadic gigs as an amateur singer and street musician in Pittsburgh. Inspired to learn jazz after hearing groundbreaking saxophonist Charlie Parker, Benson eventually traveled to New York in 1963, where he joined groups led by organists "Brother" Jack McDuff and Jimmy Smith. Befriending his soon-to-be mentor and most obvious influence, jazz guitar great Wes Montgomery, the talented young guitarist scored his first record deal in the mid-1960s--courtesy of producer John Hammond, who has discovered everyone from Charlie Christian to Bob Dylan. Supposedly, Benson was required to sing as part of the deal, but that talent didn't emerge during his three records with Hammond. In the years that followed, Benson would move from Columbia to Verve, A&M, and then CTI, also appearing on albums by Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, and Miles Davis. Following the lead of Montgomery--who recorded successful records in the mid-1960s featuring covers of Beatles tunes--Benson even presented an album, "The Other Side of Abbey Road," that featured his take on the Fab Four's entire opus. Fans of his instrumental work, featuring a fluid tone and thick chordal work that recalled Montgomery, say that the albums Benson crafted for CTI stand as some of his best-ever recording as a player. pop route, assembling the landmark LP Breezin'. Benson, who reportedly received the biggest advance ever given a jazz artist, repaid Warner Bros. with the first jazz album ever to sell over one million copies. Showcasing the guitarist's amazing ability to scat sing and play guitar lines in unison, the album became an instant classic, shaping Benson's approach to R&B-flavored jazz-pop forevermore. After nearly 20 years as an R&B star, during which period his guitar playing receded into the background of his music, Benson turned back to jazz in 1990, recording with the Count Basie Orchestra and, later, his own quartet, leapfrogging between more commercially successful and artistically demanding styles.

Kenny Burrell

Midnight Blue + 2 - Kenny Burrell

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Grant Green

Grantstand - Grant Green

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