Songs and Stories

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
George Benson's sound is so recognizable that, in its way, it's quite comforting to hear his voice or his guitar come across on the radio or in a club. His recordings have been polished and extravagant in many cases, but there are those signature elements -- his relaxed delivery and silky touch on the strings and his voice, as evocative as a cool breeze floating across a hot summer night. Songs and Stories doesn't deviate from his formula a great deal, but it doesn't have to. He's chosen ten ubiquitous pop tunes from a variety of songwriters (and one by a relatively new kid on the block), and with the help of producers John Burk and Marcus Miller, he puts them across in fine...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
George Benson's sound is so recognizable that, in its way, it's quite comforting to hear his voice or his guitar come across on the radio or in a club. His recordings have been polished and extravagant in many cases, but there are those signature elements -- his relaxed delivery and silky touch on the strings and his voice, as evocative as a cool breeze floating across a hot summer night. Songs and Stories doesn't deviate from his formula a great deal, but it doesn't have to. He's chosen ten ubiquitous pop tunes from a variety of songwriters (and one by a relatively new kid on the block), and with the help of producers John Burk and Marcus Miller, he puts them across in fine style. The set opens with James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," with the great Brazilian guitarist Toninho Horta on acoustic to contrast with Benson's electric. The tune simply eases down into the listener, and more than a desperate plea as it was in Taylor's case, this version is a request that offers plenty of rhythm -- courtesy of a beatbox by Butterscotch and Paulinho Da Costa's percussion. Another standout on the set is the slow strolling version of Bill Withers' "A Telephone Call Away," with guest vocalist Lalah Hathaway in duet, Gerald Albright's saxophone, and Bobby Sparks II's B-3 all adding to the band's textural palette. Following it is an intimate small-group setting of a cover of "Someday We'll All Be Free" by Lalah's late father, Donny Hathaway. Young Southern soul singer/songwriter Marc Broussard contributes "Come in from the Cold" to the mix. Benson is accompanied by Tom Scott on saxophones, guitarist Jubu, Miller's bass, and Sparks' Hammond, embellished by some nice Rhodes work by Greg Phillinganes. The reading of Tony Joe White's "Rainy Night in Georgia" is unusual, and laden with strings, but it works because Benson doesn't try to create a definitive version of anything; he simply creates his own. There are also two fine surprises at the end of the disc: an excellent version of Smokey Robinson's "One Like You" with a large ensemble; and a downright funky take on Lamont Dozier's "Living in High Definition," which is sure to be a hit at contemporary jazz radio. Benson, Jubu, and Wah Wah Watson all contribute electric guitars, with Miller playing vibes as well as laying down layers of beats atop his own string arrangements. Benson fans should have a ball with Songs and Stories. It's consistently smooth in texture, its arrangements are elegant, and it's sequenced beautifully.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/2009
  • Label: Concord Records
  • UPC: 888072303645
  • Catalog Number: 30364
  • Sales rank: 38,559

Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Benson Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals, Soloist
Patti Austin Vocals, Background Vocals
Lalah Hathaway Vocals
Gerald Albright Saxophone
Toninho Horta Acoustic Guitar
Tom Scott Saxophone
Norman Brown Guitar, Vocals
John Acosta Celli
Ronald Clark Violin
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Joel Derouin Violin
Charles Everett Violin
Chuck Findley Trumpet
David Garfield Organ, Piano, Keyboards
Gary Grant Trumpet
Maurice Grants Celli
Paul Jackson Jr. Guitar
Charles Loper Trombone
Steve Lukather Guitar
William Magalhaes fender rhodes
Marcus Miller Organ, Bass, Percussion, Piano, Conductor, Keyboards, Marimbas, Vocals, Vibes, fender rhodes, Drum Loop
Dennis Molchan Violin
Lori Perry Background Vocals
David Paich Keyboards
Ray Parker Jr. Guitar
Carolyn Perry Background Vocals
Sharon Perry Background Vocals
Greg Phillinganes Piano, Keyboards, fender rhodes
Steve Porcaro Synthesizer
Lee Ritenour Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
John "J.R." Robinson Drums
Robin Ross Viola
Rod Temperton Keyboards
Wah-Wah Watson Guitar
Evan Wilson Viola
Susan Chatman Violin
Robert Peterson Concert Master
Bobby Sparks Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Maguinho Alcântara Drums
Victor Vanacore Conductor
Gerry Hilera Violin
John Hayhurst Viola
Kathleen Robertson Violin
Steve Richards Celli
Sai Ly Acosta Violin
Xiao Niu He Violin
Rudolph Stein Celli
Butterscotch Beat Box
Bruno Cardozo Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Marcelo Lima Acoustic Guitar
Michael Molnau Viola
Victoria Lanier Violin
Todor Pelev Violin
Noel Lee Wind Chimes
Technical Credits
Christopher Cross Composer
Donny Hathaway Composer
Smokey Robinson Vocal Arrangements
Bill Withers Composer
George Benson Liner Notes
Tom Scott Horn Arrangements
Marlon McClain Composer
Tony Joe White Composer
Radney Foster Composer
John Burk Producer, Executive Producer
Lamont Dozier Composer
David Garfield Composer, Vocal Arrangements
Jerry Hey Horn Arrangements
Steve Lukather Composer, Producer
Marcus Miller Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Don Murray Engineer
David Paich Composer, Programming, Producer, Horn Arrangements
Doug Sax Mastering
Rod Temperton Arranger, Composer, Programming
Larry Troutman Composer
Roger Composer
Guilherme Canaes Engineer
J.J. Blair Engineer, Vocal Arrangements
Taka Honda Engineer
John Wroble Engineer
Victor Vanacore Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Noel Zancanella Engineer
Seth Presant Engineer
Marc Broussard Composer
Jeff Harris Engineer
Leslie O. Smith Vocal Arrangements
Justin Tocket Composer
Sanwook "Sunny" Nam Mastering
Larissa Collins Art Direction
Jeff Harris Engineer
Noel Lee Executive Producer
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