Bad Benson [Bonus Tracks]

Bad Benson [Bonus Tracks]

by George Benson


Preceding Breezin', his crossover smash for Warner in 1976, Bad Benson shows the guitarist still hanging on to his Wes Montgomery roots in places while stretching his soul-jazz persona into even funkier arenas. CTI had a formula for making funky, accessible jazz and fusion records that in 1974 still held true. Arranged by Don Sebesky, Bad Benson is a collection of delicious, varied, and sometimes confusing choices. Benson's own playing is precise and smooth as always, and guitarist Phil Upchurch keeps a large color palette for him to draw from, as in the funkified version of "Take Five." Other notables are the stellar "My Latin Brother," which begins as a Debussy-ian impressionistic string study before becoming a heavily arpeggiated variation on the samba. Kenny Barron's pianism here is the driving force behind a rhythm section that also includes drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Ron Carter. They give Benson a harmonic floor for one of the most inspiring solos of his career. These intensely meaty cuts -- along with Upchurch's stellar swinging in the pocket groover "Full Compass" -- are juxtaposed against ballads such as "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" and "The Changing World," a pair of ballads that ape Montgomery's later snore-fest session for A&M. Thankfully, Legacy's remastered CD version includes three bonus tracks from the session: a hip and syncopated read of "Take the 'A' Train" (with truly surreal and shimmering colors courtesy of Sebesky's string section) and the amazingly driving, greasy funk of "Serbian Blue," as well as a simply beautiful -- and brief -- solo from Benson called "From Now On." Not a great album, but a very, very good one.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/18/2002
Label: Sony
UPC: 0696998614222
catalogNumber: 86142


  1. Take Five
  2. Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
  3. My Latin Brother
  4. No Sooner Said Than Done
  5. Full Compass
  6. The Changing World
  7. Take the 'A' Train
  8. Serbian Blue
  9. From Now On

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Benson   Primary Artist,Guitar
Phil Bodner   Clarinet,Flute,English Horn
Ron Carter   Bass
Warren Covington   Trombone
Phil Upchurch   Guitar,Percussion,Electric Bass,Ensemble
Wayne Andre   Trombone
Seymour Barab   Cello
Kenny Barron   Piano
Raymond Beckenstein   Clarinet,Flute,English Horn
Garnett Brown   Trombone
James Buffington   French Horn
Don Sebesky   Conductor
Paul Faulise   Bass Trombone
John Frosk   Trumpet
Steve Gadd   Drums
Jesse Levy   Cello
George Marge   Clarinet,Flute,English Horn
Charles McCracken   Cello
Albert Regni   Clarinet,Flute,English Horn
Margaret Ross   Harp
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
Alan Shulman   Cello
Brooks Tillotson   French Horn
Paul Tobias   Cello
Frank Levy   Cello
Joe Shepley   Trumpet
Jim Buffington   French Horn

Technical Credits

Didier C. Deutsch   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Don Sebesky   Arranger
Rudy Van Gelder   Engineer
Creed Taylor   Producer
Stacey Boyle   Tape Research

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