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Bad Benson

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Preceding Breezin', his crossover smash for Warner in 1976, Bad Benson shows the guitarist still hanging on to his Wes Montgomery roots in places while stretching his soul-jazz persona into even funkier arenas. CTI had a formula for making funky, accessible jazz and fusion records that in 1974 still held true. Arranged by Don Sebesky, Bad Benson is a collection of delicious, varied, and sometimes confusing choices. Benson's own playing is precise and smooth as always, and guitarist Phil Upchurch keeps a large color palette for him to draw from, as in the funkified version of "Take Five." Other notables are the stellar "My Latin Brother," which begins as a Debussy-ian ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Preceding Breezin', his crossover smash for Warner in 1976, Bad Benson shows the guitarist still hanging on to his Wes Montgomery roots in places while stretching his soul-jazz persona into even funkier arenas. CTI had a formula for making funky, accessible jazz and fusion records that in 1974 still held true. Arranged by Don Sebesky, Bad Benson is a collection of delicious, varied, and sometimes confusing choices. Benson's own playing is precise and smooth as always, and guitarist Phil Upchurch keeps a large color palette for him to draw from, as in the funkified version of "Take Five." Other notables are the stellar "My Latin Brother," which begins as a Debussy-ian impressionistic string study before becoming a heavily arpeggiated variation on the samba. Kenny Barron's pianism here is the driving force behind a rhythm section that also includes drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Ron Carter. They give Benson a harmonic floor for one of the most inspiring solos of his career. These intensely meaty cuts -- along with Upchurch's stellar swinging in the pocket groover "Full Compass" -- are juxtaposed against ballads such as "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" and "The Changing World," a pair of ballads that ape Montgomery's later snore-fest session for A&M. Thankfully, Legacy's remastered CD version includes three bonus tracks from the session: a hip and syncopated read of "Take the 'A' Train" with truly surreal and shimmering colors courtesy of Sebesky's string section and the amazingly driving, greasy funk of "Serbian Blue," as well as a simply beautiful -- and brief -- solo from Benson called "From Now On." Not a great album, but a very, very good one.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/1/2008
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 886972421124
  • Catalog Number: 724211
  • Sales rank: 31,142

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Take Five (7:43)
  2. 2 Summer Wisher/Winter Dreams (2:54)
  3. 3 My Latin Brother (6:51)
  4. 4 No Sooner Said Than Done (5:51)
  5. 5 Full Compass (5:38)
  6. 6 The Changing World (4:51)
  7. 7 Take the "A" Train (4:12)
  8. 8 Serbian Blue (12:36)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Benson Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Phil Bodner Clarinet, Flute, Alto Flute, English Horn
Ron Carter Bass
Warren Covington Trombone
Phil Upchurch Bass, Guitar, Percussion
Wayne Andre Trombone
Seymour Barab Cello
Kenny Barron Piano
Raymond Beckenstein Flute
Garnett Brown Trombone
James Buffington French Horn
Paul Faulise Bass Trombone
Steve Gadd Drums
Guildhall String Ensemble Strings
Jesse Levy Cello
George Marge Flute, English Horn, Piccolo
Charles McCracken Cello
Albert Regni Clarinet, Flute
Margaret Ross Harp
Alan Shulman Cello
Brooks Tillotson French Horn
Paul Tobias Cello
Frank Levy Cello
Technical Credits
Alan Bergman Composer
Marilyn Bergman Composer
Didier C. Deutsch Producer
Don Sebesky Arranger
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer
Johnny Mandel Composer
Creed Taylor Producer
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