Jazz pop/soul jazz: “Footin’ It” and “Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream”; Crossover jazz/jazz pop: “I Remember Wes”

in #hive-1938163 months ago

Footin’ It

George Benson (guitar), Charles Covington (organ), Idris Muhammad (drums) and Johnny Pacheco (conga). From the album Shape of Things to Come (1968) by George Benson.

In 1968 George Benson released Shape of Things to Come for the A&M label, produced by Creed Taylor, which made him a jazz star. Taylor had hired him for his melodic and refined style to replace the recently deceased Wes Montgomery as king of jazz guitar, and continued to work with him until 1976. Also on the album are pianist Herbie Hancock and double bassist Ron Carter, both members of legendary trumpeter Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet. The arrangements for the wind and string sections, and chorus, are by Don Sebesky, who had already participated in five of Montgomery’s last recordings, four of them with great commercial success due to their pop orientation.

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Album cover

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In addition, he introduced the crossover jazz album Goodies with four original tunes, the last one for the Verve label. This work is a real box of surprises with contributions from numerous musicians on different tracks, the all-female vocal quartet The Sweet Inspirations and the chamber ensemble The Winston Collymore Strings. Benson performs superbly over whatever musical mood plays behind him. In 1969 he collaborated on two more albums by organist Jack McDuff: I Got a Woman and Steppin’ Out, and on Stonebone by bebop trombonist J. J. Johnson and hard bop trombonist Kai Winding.

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George Benson

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In turn, he published Tell It Like It Is with a marked Cuban accent provided by arranger Marty Sheller, managing to overcome the explosive Latin percussion with brilliant interventions and brief solos, and singing in three of the songs. In 1970 Benson participated in Sugar by soul jazz tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and Mellow Blues by also tenor saxophonist Willis Jackson.

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George Benson

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℗ A&M Records

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Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream

George Benson (guitar), Charles Covington (organ), Richard Davis (double bass), Idris Muhammad (drums) and Johnny Pacheco (conga). From the album Shape of Things to Come (1968) by George Benson.

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℗ A&M Records

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I Remember Wes

George Benson (guitar), Arthur Clarke and George Marge (flute), Jack Jennings (vibraphone), Chuck Rainey (double bass), Leo Morris (drums) and The Winston Collymore Strings. From the album Goodies (1968) by George Benson.

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Album cover

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℗ Verve Records

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