The Essential George Benson

The Essential George Benson

by George Benson


The Essential George Benson covers 28 years and spans two discs, so it lives up to its claim of having the widest scope of all the Benson compilations that surfaced before it. While it's impressive that Columbia/Legacy didn't merely mine Columbia and CTI dates, and licensed material from Warner Bros. and Prestige as well (the brief Verve period is unrepresented), you could also say that the label also spread itself thin, with several crucial moments in Benson's career unable to fit. If Columbia/Legacy were honest, they'd position this as more of a sampler with a few curve balls. No matter what era you prefer, you're going to come up short, and it's not as if most people who are curious about Benson are going to be open-minded enough to appreciate both "Clockwise" and the vastly different "Give Me the Night." Some of the surprise selections, which almost outnumber the obvious ones, include an alternate take of "Ode to a Kudu," "Hip Skip" (from Tony Williams' late-'70s Joy of Flying), "Rock Candy" (from Brother Jack McDuff Live!), and "Paraphernalia" (a bizarre pick for any form of anthology, from Miles Davis' Miles in the Sky). Even casual fans won't have to think too hard about essential cuts that aren't here -- "Durham's Turn," "Nature Boy," "The World Is a Ghetto," "Love X Love," and on and on, but the majority of what's here cannot be challenged. This is a way to begin -- not wrap up -- your fascination with Benson. It is representative of the breadth of his career from 1963 through 1980, but it could have just as easily been done a dozen other ways. The sound is vibrant, and Benson's track-by-track commentary adds a nice touch.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/28/2006
Label: Sony
UPC: 0696998521520
catalogNumber: 85215

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Benson   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Interviewee
Patti Austin   Background Vocals
Phil Bodner   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Flute,Baritone Horn,English Horn,Oboe,Piccolo
Michael Brecker   Tenor Saxophone
Ron Carter   Bass,Upright Bass
Ronnie Cuber   Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Jorge Dalto   Piano,Keyboards,Electric Piano,Clavinet,Soloist
Miles Davis   Trumpet
Jack DeJohnette   Drums
Jon Faddis   Trumpet
Ronnie Foster   Keyboards,Electric Piano,Mini Moog
Dexter Gordon   Tenor Saxophone
Jan Hammer   Keyboards
Herbie Hancock   Piano,Electric Piano
Red Holloway   Tenor Saxophone
Earl Klugh   Guitar
Hubert Laws   Flute,Alto Flute,Piccolo
Wayne Shorter   Tenor Saxophone
Cedar Walton   Piano
Tony Williams   Drums
Warren Covington   Trombone
Phil Upchurch   Bass,Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Joe Dukes   Drums
Jay Berliner   Acoustic Guitar
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion
Jocelyn Brown   Background Vocals
Percy Heath   Bass
Ronnie Boykins   Bass
Airto Moreira   Percussion,Vocals
Gloria Agostini   Harp
Wayne Andre   Trombone,Baritone Horn
Tom Bahler   Background Vocals
Stanley Banks   Bass
Seymour Barab   Cello
Kenny Barron   Piano
Ray Beckinstein   Clarinet,Flute,English Horn
Art Blakey   Drums
Michael Boddicker   Synthesizer
Garnett Brown   Trombone
Claus Ogerman   Conductor
Billy Cobham   Drums
Butch Cornell   Organ
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Paul Faulise   Bass Trombone
Frank Foster   Tenor Saxophone
John Frosk   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Steve Gadd   Drums
John Gatchell   Trumpet
Jim Gilstrap   Background Vocals
Diva Gray   Background Vocals
Dick Griffin   Trombone
Freddie Hubbard   Trumpet
Jerry Hey   Trumpet
Kim Hutchcroft   Saxophone
Paul Jackson   Bass
Billy Kaye   Drums
Gary King   Bass
Phil Kraus   Percussion,Vibes
Abraham Laboriel   Bass
Richard Landrum   Conga
Will Lee   Bass
Jesse Levy   Cello
Jimmy Lovelace   Drums
Harold Mabern   Electric Piano
George Marge   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Flute,English Horn,Oboe
Harvey Mason   Drums
Charles McCracken   Cello
Jack McDuff   Organ
Clarence Palmer   Organ
Romeo Penque   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute,English Horn,Oboe
Waymon Reed   Trumpet
Albert Regni   Clarinet,Flute,English Horn
Lee Ritenour   Guitar
Margaret Ross   Harp
Alan Rubin   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Alan Shulman   Cello
Lonnie Smith   Organ,Electric Piano
Jane Taylor   Bassoon
Richard Tee   Synthesizer Bass
Brooks Tillotson   French Horn
Gerald Chamberlain   Trombone
Paul Tobias   Cello
Frank Levy   Cello
Joe Shepley   Trumpet
John "4 Daddman" Robinson   Drums
Jim Buffington   French Horn
Larry E. Williams   Flute
Mongego Joe   Drums

Technical Credits

Leon Russell   Composer
George Benson   Composer
Miles Davis   Composer
Dexter Gordon   Composer
Quincy Jones   Producer
Stanley Turrentine   Composer
Tony Williams   Producer
Pee Wee Ellis   Arranger
Dave Matthews   String Arrangements
Claus Ogerman   Orchestral Arrangements
Michael Cuscuna   Producer
Don Sebesky   Arranger
Jim Fishel   Producer
Lew Futterman   Producer
Jerry Hey   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
James Isaacs   Interviewer
Tommy LiPuma   Producer
Teo Macero   Producer
Peter Paul   Producer
J.C. Phillips   Composer
M. Phillips   Composer
Vernon Smith   Tray Photo
Creed Taylor   Producer
Rod Temperton   Vocal Arrangements
Chuck Stewart   Cover Photo
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Mark Unterberger   Packaging Manager
B.E. Mann   Composer
John F. Hammond   Producer

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