The making of Exotica now available for viewing here.
The making of Exotica now available for viewing here.
Check out new music from Songs And Stories. Family Reunion is now available on iTunes.
Check out the new behind the scenes video from the making of Songs And Stories.
We have a couple of shows coming up in August before our Fall Tour. On August 25th, the day that we release Songs And Stories, we will be in Milwaukee and on August 27 we will be in Philadelphia. Check out the Tour Dates page for more info.
Check out this review from the show last night.
By Jason Rhodes
MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters Life!) – George Benson gave a slick performance combining unparalleled guitar chops and sophisticated jazz-soul vocals at the Montreux Jazz Festival after being hailed the world’s best axeman by BB King.
Versatile Benson, who has played Montreux countless times in the past 25 years, had the crowd jumping in the Stravinsky Auditorium by Lake Geneva on Monday with a diverse set.
Benson is “the best guitarist in the world in all kinds of music,” said blues legend BB King at a early hours jam session the previous night. “Rock, jazz, blues – he plays better than anybody else!”
After an early career building on the guitar techniques of jazz heroes like Wes Montgomery and Grant Green, Benson tapped a wider audience from the mid-70s with a broad repertoire designed to show off his talents as a singer as well as guitarist.
Benson, looking younger than his 66 years in white pants and open-neck black shirt, gave a guitar master class with a jazz-funk number and the upbeat “Weekend in L.A.”
Standing legs apart with his guitar strapped high, Benson’s fingers flitted effortlessly over the fretboard of his guitar, making the most difficult of improvisations look simple.
The ten-time Grammy Award winner then treated the audience to his finely judged vocals on “Nature Boy” and other crowd-pleasers ranging from soulful ballads to rock, before having to pause for breath after the energetic “20/20 Vision.”
Jamaican keyboardist Monty Alexander, who stole the show in the main hall on Friday, then joined Benson for an improvisational feast on “At The Mambo Inn” as Benson doubled up on his scat vocal lines with guitar.
The whole audience was on its feet dancing by the time Benson ended his set with the disco funk of “Give Me The Night” and the crowd called him back for two encores.
The first, an improvised blues, saw Benson’s vocal skills tested to the limit by jazz singer Rachelle Ferrell in a virtuoso scat duel, before Benson and friends rounded off an exciting performance with “On Broadway.”
“George Benson is part of Montreux,” said festival organizer Claude Nobs. “Each time he comes with different music, different musicians, but each time he comes with the same huge talent and huge soul.”
We hope you are enjoying Living In High Definition. We just uploaded a new video on the making of the song with Lamont Dozier. Enjoy.
1. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
2. Family Reunion
3. Show Me the Love
4. A Telephone Call Away
5. Someday We’ll All Be Free
6. Nuthin’ But a Party
7. Come in From the Cold
9. Rainy Night in Georgia
10. One Like You
11. Living in High Definition
National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and 10X Grammy-winning, legendary musician George Benson will release his new album on August 25th entitled Songs and Stories, his second for Concord Records / Monster Music. The album is a collection of tunes penned by some of the most prolific and enduring songwriters of the last half-century. Some were written specifically for this new recording, such as Bill Withers’ (who came out of retirement to write “A Telephone Call Away” for George), Rod Temperton’s “Family Reunion” and Lamont Dozier’s “Living in High Definition”; while others, including James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight”, Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free” and Tony Joe White’s “Rainy Night in Georgia” were hand-picked by Benson for their ability to convey simple but universal truths about the human experience.
Songs and Stories was produced by Concord’s Grammy winning, creative head John Burk and renowned bassist /composer / producer Marcus Miller. Benson, Miller, keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, guitarist Jubu and drummer John Robinson make up the core unit for the project. They were joined by special guests: guitarists Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Wah Wah Watson and Norman Brown, vocalists Lalah Hathaway and Patti Austin, keyboardist David Paich, saxophonists Tom Scott and Gerald Albright along with several others. “Brother, with that team, you can do just about anything,” said Benson. “We recorded in the studio for three days straight, and everything we touched had something on it that made us all glad we were there. It was just the right mix of people and material.”
And yet, for all of the high-caliber musicians on hand, the most important guests are the songwriters, says co-producer Miller. “Smokey Robinson doesn’t perform on this record, but he’s still a guest,” he says. “Lamont Dozier is a guest. Bill Withers, Rod Temperton and James Taylor are guests. If you take great songs from writers like these, and you put them in the hands of George Benson and a great band, you’d better just get out of the way and let things happen, because the result is going to be something great.”
Indeed, the record captures the somewhat underappreciated essential brilliance of his storied career; the ability to simply touch people through authentic lyrics and beautiful melody. On Songs and Stories, George Benson’s musical artistry has perhaps never been on sharper display.
To celebrate the release of Songs And Stories, fans can visit the official Benson website, georgebenson.com and receive a free mp3 download of “Living In High Definition”, the new song written by legendary composer Lamont Dozier. Additionally on the website, fans can view “The George Benson Sessions: The Making Of Songs And Stories”, a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new record. The series will be updated with a new video each week leading up to and through the August 25 release.
Concord Records is proud to once again partner with Monster Music® on presenting the newest George Benson album Songs and Stories on High Definition Surround™ Sound SuperDisc™. The Monster® version, also available August 25th, is a specially priced two-disc package that consists of Songs and Stories on compact disc mixed in traditional stereo and a bonus DVD, containing Monster’s High Definition Stereo and Surround mixes. In addition, the bonus DVD features behind-the-scenes video footage of the making of the record including an in-depth interview with George Benson. With its innovative High Definition Surround technology Monster Music is revolutionizing the listening experience. Mastered in the highest resolution possible, HDS SuperDiscs are specially engineered to capture the true harmonic depth and tonal richness of the music. THX certified HDS SuperDiscs deliver the music through a 5.1 speaker system just the way the artist heard it in the studio when it was recorded, the way they intended you to hear it.
Off to a great start. Looking forward to seeing many of you.
Hello Royal Albert Hall,
Tonight is the first night of our European Tour. Looking forward to seeing you all.