Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole

Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole

by George BensonGeorge Benson


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George Benson's place as one of the greatest and most successful guitarists in the history of jazz is secure, but what's easy to forget sometimes is that he began his career as a vocalist, and if this release, a tribute to Nat King Cole, comes as any kind of surprise, it shouldn't. Benson's and Cole's careers are remarkably similar, both becoming known first as instrumentalists, Cole as a pianist, and Benson, of course, as a guitarist, with both eventually easing into the pop mainstream because of their voices. Cole was a one of a kind vocalist, of course, and even Benson wouldn't claim to equal him as a singer, but Benson has a similarly soothing and lush tenor voice that more than holds its own on these familiar songs. The album is bookended by two versions of the Cole classic "Mona Lisa," the first a rare recording of Benson at the age of eight singing it sweetly and charmingly while playing ukulele, while the album closes with a full big-band, Nelson Riddle-arranged orchestral version that also features some sweet guitar from Benson. In between are warm, smooth, and soothing versions of "Walking My Baby Back Home" and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," a bouncing and bopping "Route 66," and nice takes on "Unforgettable" (featuring Wynton Marsalis), "When I Fall in Love" (featuring Idina Menzel), "Smile" (featuring Till Brönner), and "Too Young" (featuring Judith Hill), all given the full big-band orchestral treatment from the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra conducted by Randy Waldman (Waldman also arranged several of the pieces here). It all adds up to a sweet and very impressive album, full of warmth and heart, and it swings where it should.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/04/2013
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0888072342682
catalogNumber: 34268
Rank: 78124

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Benson   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Chuck Berghofer   Bass
Till Brönner   Trumpet
Alvin Chea   Background Vocals
Janey Clewer   Background Vocals
Sheila E.   Percussion
Michael Fisher   Percussion
Wynton Marsalis   Trumpet
Timothy May   Guitar
Randy Waldman   Piano,Conductor,Background Vocals
Gregg Field   Drums
Chris Papastephanou   Background Vocals
Scott Flavin   Conductor
Idina Menzel   Vocals
Joy Adams   Cello
Abigail Young   Violin
Judith Hill   Vocals
Chris Gagne   Trombone
Major Bailey   Trombone
Marcela Fernández   Viola
Jared Hall   Trumpet
Lauren Miller   Viola
Cecilia Huerta   Cello
Adam Diderrich   Violin
Ryan Chapman   Trumpet
Robert Patrignani   Violin
Jeff Kipperman   Bass
Mark Small   Tenor Saxophone
Kendall Moore   Trombone
Tomas Cotik   Violin
Kevin McKeown   Alto Saxophone
Zack Piper   Violin
Yen-Ling Lin   Bass
Victor Colmenares   Violin
Stephen Szabadi   Trombone
Steffen Zeichner   Violin,Concert Master,Soloist
Sarah Gongware   Cello
Robyn Savitzky   Viola
Rachel Hershey   Bass
Patricia Jancova   Violin
Neil Carson   Alto Saxophone
Michelle Mlacker   Violin
Michelle Godbee   Violin
Katrina Schaeffer   Violin
Kathryn Severing   Viola
Karin O'Keefe   Violin
Jonah Osawa   Violin
Jon Anderson   French Horn
James Raynolds   Violin
Gilbert Paz   Trumpet
Don Chelton   Background Vocals
Derek Smith   Baritone Saxophone
Chris Burbank   Trumpet
Chia-Li Yu   Cello
Cassandra Eisenreich   Flute
Arianne Urban   Violin
Andrew Kromholz   Cello
Alex Weitz   Tenor Saxophone
Lil' Georgie Benson   Ukulele,Vocals
Christina Hardister   Harp
Abby Young   Violin

Technical Credits

George Benson   Liner Notes
Irving Mills   Composer
Bobby Troup   Composer
Fred E. Ahlert   Composer
Greg Allen   Art Direction
Terence Blanchard   Artistic Director
John Burk   Producer
Charlie Chaplin   Composer
Nat King Cole   Composer
Ray Evans   Composer
Edward Heyman   Composer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Nelson Riddle   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Cole Porter   Composer
Bob Russell   Composer
Schmitt   Engineer
Carl Sigman   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Randy Waldman   Arranger,Producer,String Arrangements,Piano Engineer
Victor Young   Composer
Shelly Berg   Staff
Eden Ahbez   Composer
Joe Young   Composer
Irving Gordon   Composer
Sylvia Dee   Composer
Sidney Lippman   Composer
Dave Poler   Engineer
Seth Presant   Engineer
Stephanie Gonzalez   Representation
Bob Zievers   Booking
Jeff Jones "the Jedi Master"   Engineer
James John Turner Phillips   Composer
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer
Stephen Guerra   Managing Director

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