WNUA 95.5 presents An Evening with George Benson
Theatre : Ford Center/Oriental Theatre, Chicago Illinois
Dates : April 30, 2004 - May 01, 2004
From hard bop guitarist to R&B/pop superstar, George Benson has worn a wide variety of hats over the years. R&B lovers know him as the guitar-playing vocalist who is responsible for such hits as "Give Me The Night" and "Turn Your Love Around," while the jazz world continues to treasure his classic instrumental albums of the 1960s and early 1970s. And it goes without saying that Benson's million-selling Breezin' album of 1976 practically defined the NAC, quiet storm, and contemporary jazz radio formats.
Because the guitarist/singer is so diverse and unpredictable, one never knows what he will do from one album to the next-and on his latest GRP release, Absolute Benson, the eight-time GRAMMY?-winner surprises us once again by emphasizing instrumental music. While Benson's last album, 1998's Standing Together, was full of R&B/pop singing, only three of Absolute Benson's nine songs find him providing vocals.
It was in 1976 that Benson took the plunge and became a superstar in the pop and R&B worlds thanks to the platinum Breezin', which soared to #1 on the pop charts and contained his GRAMMY?-winning hit recording of Leon Russell's "This Masquerade." For the first time, Benson was enjoying worldwide mass appeal. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Benson emphasized vocals and enjoyed one major R&B/pop smash after another, including "The Greatest Love of All" and a remake of The Drifters' "On Broadway," "Give Me The Night," "Turn Your Love Around," and the Kashif-produced "Inside Love," among others. But true to form, Benson refused to play any one style of music exclusively-he returned to classic standards and acoustic-oriented jazz with 1989's Tenderly and paid tribute to Count Basie on 1990's Big Boss Band. Throughout his career, George Benson has embraced everything from straight-ahead jazz to contemporary jazz to R&B/pop vocals. And through it all he has demonstrated that creativity and commercial success aren't mutually exclusive. Absolute Benson clearly continues that display