Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Versatile George Benson
While you may know the name, George Benson, you may only be familiar with his material from the 70s and 80s which is a little more fusion/pop sounding. Yet during the '60s George Benson created some phenomenal recordings that would rival many of his contemporaries on other instruments. All jazz guitarists owe almost everything to Charlie Christian (the godfather of Jazz guitar); George Benson used Christian's influence to take the music in another direction just as fellow guitarists Grant Green and Wes Montgomery did. Benson's multifaceted musicianship allowed him to move freely between genres and garnered both high praise and sometimes unwarranted derision. Benson began his career playing and singing R&B and later touring and session work with the likes of Jack McDuff and Miles Davis respectively. In the early '60s he started is his own band and recorded some early dates on the Prestige label which showed great promise of things to come.