July 7, 2009

Songs And Stories to be released August 25th

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.