Songs and Stories

Songs and Stories

by George Benson
     
 

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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… See more details below

Overview

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:
08/25/2009
Label:
Concord Records
UPC:
0888072303645
catalogNumber:
30364
Rank:
11457

Tracks

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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   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   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
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
Larissa Collins   Art Direction
Jeff Harris   Engineer
Noel Lee   Executive Producer

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