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George Benson and Al Jarreau - Givin' It Up Import

90 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 24, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Two of jazz music's most well know performers team up for the first time on their Concord Music Group release 'Givin' It Up. The first single 'Morning is already at smooth jazz radio, with the single 'Let it Rain' going to Urban AC and AC. The CD also features special guests Herbie Hancock, Paul McCartney, Jill Scott, Chris Botti, Patti Austin, Marion Meadows and Marcus Miller. The duo will be on tour throughout the fall starting in Philadelphia and ending in Los Angeles.

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Not trusting the drawing power of its co-billed veterans, singer-guitarist George Benson and singer-"vocal percussionist" Al Jarreau, or the eventfulness of their teaming, the producers of Givin' It Up have hedged their commercial bets with a full array of guest stars. But none of the guest singers lifts the proceedings above a sleek professionalism--not Paul McCartney, who participates in a humdrum, album-ending jam on Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me"; not the wonderful Jill Scott, who emulates Billie Holiday on a modest treatment of "God Bless the Child"; and not old pro Patti Austin. Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Stanley Clarke, and Marcus Miller also turn up, agreeably but unexcitingly enough, among smooth jazzers including Marion Meadows and Patrice Rushen. The material ranges from two songs to which Jarreau adds lyrics--the 1976 Benson hit "Breezin'" and "'Long Come Tutu," based on the Miller-written title track of Miles Davis's "Tutu"--to covers of Seals and Crofts' "Summer Breeze" and the Daryl Hall-penned Paul Young hit, "Every Time You Go Away." Benson and Jarreau seem a bit hemmed-in by the crowd of name contributors. Even in smooth mode, they have done livelier work than this. --Lloyd Sachs


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 24, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B000HT3Q3M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,850 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By joemacktheknife on March 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Though it has taken three decades, the pairing of George Benson and Al Jarreau - peerless music legends who both sprang from jazz into the international R&B and pop mainstream - was pure destiny.

The parallels of their career paths, musical ideologies and fans bases would seem to have deemed it so many moons ago. Both have earned multiple Gold and Platinum albums, totaling millions of copies sold, along with coveted Grammy awards in both the pop and jazz categories. And both gentlemen are consummate and engaging entertainers, each capable of selling out an all-nighter by himself and still barely denting his catalog of timeless classics.

The result is a landmark, 13-song album. Painstakingly prepared by Benson and Jarreau, "Givin' It Up" touches on every style and mood fans could imagine from this stellar event of musical matchmaking.

" Givin' It Up" crackles with inventive covers of standards ranging from the 1940s (Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child"); the 1960s (Sam Cooke's "Bring it on Home to Me" featuring a surprise cameo by pop legend Paul McCartney); the 1970s (Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze"); and the 1980s (Daryl Hall's "Everytime You Go Away"). They also show respect for the music of today, inviting neo soul diva Jill Scott to sing along on "God Bless the Child," and turning in a sumptuous instrumental rendition of singer/songwriter John Legend's " Ordinary People" with Marion Meadows on soprano sax.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By D. Lee on November 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have seen Al Jarreau 20 times in concert (and recently saw Al and George perform at the Hollywood Bowl) and am a long-time fan from WAY BACK. There are a few Al CDs that you just play forwards and backwards (and back when they were cassettes, you wore out the tape) because they're just PERFECT. "Breakin' Away", "Jarreau" and "Heaven and Earth" come to mind. Well, add "Givin' It Up" to that list. If you're an old-school Al fan and you're wondering whether to buy this CD, BUY IT. It will live up to all of your Al expectations. There's a "Look the Rainbow" feel to it, there's a "Breakin' Away" feel to it, there's a "Jarreau" feel to it. There's even a "Glow" feel to it (when you think about tunes like "Milwaukee" and "Have You Seen the Child?"). Grassroots Al.

It's got the production values of "Heaven and Earth" and "Tenderness". FABULOUS production, arrangements, gathering of talent. There is not one song on here that you will skip as you're listening to it driving to work or whatever. In fact, if you're throwing a party and want to instantly get people in a jazzy party mood, put on this CD because between everybody from Chris Botti to Jill Scott to a SOULFUL Paul McCartney, people will stop and say, "Wow, listen to Jill and George tearing up 'God Bless the Child.'" And "Is that Paul McCartney tearing up 'Bring It on Home to Me'?" [Yes, it is.] Meanwhile, Al and George are working their magic the entire time, and guests will say, "Listen to George right there." And, "Al is jamming right now." It's a conversation-stopper provided by the best thing that can stop a conversation at a party: fabulous music that people must comment on. Of course, that's where the conversation picks right back up, so you win either way.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Soulin' on January 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of both these guys for years but in recent times have felt Al's voice in particular to be not what it once was - Well let me admit my error. This is a superb effort!!! George is still the greatest guitarist out there..sure it ain't straight Jazz - that's it's beauty!

A wonderful hybrid of styles anf for my money 'All that I am' has one of the best vocal performances of George's career (a sweet but moving tune)

The syncopations in 'Don't start no stuff' are sensational.

All up a great set from two of music's real stylists and boundary pushers!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* VINE VOICE on January 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This collaboration between George Benson and Al Jarreau is such a clever idea. Two multi-talented jazz icons in one album is simply a treat to my ears. For fans of Benson and Jarreau, this is definitely a "must-add" to your collection.

I missed their much-anticipated concert last summer at the Hollywood Bowl since I wasn't able to be back on time from my summer get-away at Prince Edward Island. My co-workers and I have bought our tickets way ahead of time and have been eagerly waiting for that special show. I've wanted to watch these two favorite artists of mine and I was so disappointed, it would have been like "killing two birds with one stone." So I just gave away my ticket to a co-worker who totally enjoyed the concert. Her gain, my loss! Well, I'm hoping that there will be another joint-concert coming soon and I'll make sure not to miss it.

My favorites from this collection are of course their respective all-time hits, "Breezin'" and "Mornin'." Who would have thought that words have been added to Bobby Womack's stunning and tuneful music? Thanks to Al Jarreau's creative musical mind that we can now enjoy "Breezin'" in two different ways, with or without lyrics. Ditto with "Mornin'" - we'll be delighted with two versions now, an instrumental version or the original. Likewise, this awesome pair gives Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze" and Hall & Oates' "Every Time You Go Away" fresh styles and great interpretations with splendid arrangements by Larry Williams.
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George Benson and Al Jarreau - Givin' It Up
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