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The Essential George Benson Original recording remastered

12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 28, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

21 tracks spanning 18 years, 16 albums and four record labels-essential indeed! Includes George's hits This Masquerade; On Broadway; Give Me the Night; Breezin' , and California Dreamin' , plus early sides from his CTI, Prestige and Columbia recordings!

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
  • Sample this album Title - Artist (Sample)
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Album Only
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10:05
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9:17
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4:38
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7:19
Disc 2
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6:55
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8:20
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7:07
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 28, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000A2H1C8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,120 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Paine on February 2, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What an interesting album and what a great cross-sectional study of George Benson's evolution from young R&B based jazz-guitarist to easy jazz-pop phenomenom. Recording quality is generally good, except for 1-2 live songs. The listener can obviously take their pick which they prefer, but there's no denying that while George is best known for his Breezin and other albums from the 80's, he had a real eclectic body of work behind him that established him as a jazz leader. If you're one of those types who cry, "Hey he sold out", I'd counter that he brought the best of jazz to the pop world. The songs Breezin' and On Broadway are loads of fun, simply because they are well written and polished performances.

Before this pop period, Disc 1 showcases George's roots music and versatility with other players' bands. Especially interesting are guitar trio with Jimmy Griff (or is it MacDuff?) and a somewhat avant-garde piece with Miles Davis from the late-60's, Paraphernalia. George makes it all work because he is a consumate musician. Disc 1 ends, and Disc 2 begins, with Georges recordings on the Creed Taylor label, reaching for rock favorites like White Rabbit. Ironically, this is his least successful work, certainly less satisfying than Breezin. You can almost hear George think, "I've got to break out of this straight jazz rut, maybe this will work". It sounds overproduced and forced. Breezin is a lot more fun.

Finally, my personal favorite is the killer Hip Skip, recorded in 1980 with Tony Williams drummer. What a funky tune, and how essential George's lead and comping are to make this work. Anything George does after this body of work, is just icing on the cake.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on July 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Fine 2-disk CD set. Disk 1 holds mostly energetic selections from GB's oeuvre, with only one piece (Ode to a Kudu) having a more reflective, though not somber, hue. Benson's trademark style (paralleling his lickety-split guitar licks with his voice) is downplayed here. He is often the soloist, but sometimes accompanies other band members. Most tracks are instrumentals except for "A Foggy Day" -- a fun standard that that retains GB's good-feeling style. "California Dreaming" is a great rewrite of the sometimes plodding Mamas and Papas' classic. Jefferson Airplane's hit, "White Rabbit" gets a great "Bolero"-like treatment that brings the ancient classic alive.

Disk 2 is a little less interesting. No compilation of essential GB would be complete (I'm afraid) without the top 40 classic hits "Breezin'" and "This Masquerade" and "On Broadway" and "Give Me the Night." These have been so overplayed on the radio that I don't care to hear them again. But YMMV.

It's nice to know that there's more to GB than his 15 minutes of fame in the late 70s. His non-hit material was fun to listen to. Easy on the ears and great for repeat listens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mufasa on March 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Highly recommend for beginners in jazz. Great buy for 2 dis. A super, great collection for Benson fans!!!! BUY IT!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Another Smith on August 23, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been without Benson's music since college and it was about time that I got back in to some good sounds!
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By Donald E. Gilliland on February 29, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I've bought two other Benson compilations but I think this is the best collection on the market. With 2 discs, this is good value for the money and it covers a lot of ground; from his early CTI recordings (nothing from the Verve period, however) to his better known hits ("Breezin'" and "This Masquerade") from the late 70s Warner era. If you haven't heard his version of "White Rabbit", don't wait any longer; mighty fine guitar playing and a very interesting composition.
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By LESTER O'GARRO on October 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
TRULY HIS GREATEST HITS... FROM "WHITE RABBIT" TO "BROADWAY".,, WITH "THE MASQUERADE" AND MANY OF HIS OTHER GREAT SONGS ALL ON 2,C.D.'s...
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