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  • Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole
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Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole


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Audio CD, June 4, 2013
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Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole

Biography

After four years of touring and developing “An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole,” the legendary George Benson makes his most inspired album: Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. Set for release June 4, 2013, this recording is one of the most meaningful of Benson’s career and is a testament to the spirit of Cole’s timeless body of work. Benson’s ... Read more in Amazon's George Benson Store

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Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole + The Greatest Hits of All + George Benson and Al Jarreau - Givin' It Up
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 4, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B00C1CO0XS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,657 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mona Lisa - Little Georgie Benson
2. Just One Of Those Things
3. Unforgettable
4. Walkin' My Baby Back Home
5. When I Fall In Love
6. Route 66
7. Nature Boy
8. Ballerina
9. Smile
10. Straighten Up And Fly Right
11. Too Young
12. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
13. Mona Lisa

Editorial Reviews

After four years of touring and developing "An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole," the legendary George Benson makes his most inspired album: Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. The recording is one of the most meaningful of Benson's career and is a testament to the spirit of Cole's timeless body of work. Benson's heartfelt renditions of some of Cole's greatest songs with Nelson Riddle arrangements and the 42-piece Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra are complemented by duets with Tony Award winner Idina Menzel and rising star Judith Hill, along with a special collaboration with multi-GRAMMY and Pulitzer Prize-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Customer Reviews

All the songs are good.
deborah
If you like Nat King Cole standards then this George Benson tribute is for you.
J. O. Cook
This musical effort shows his amazing versatility as an artist!
Troy Wheeler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Several weeks ago while perusing Amazon's "Upcoming CD Releases" I learned of an exciting new album from the ten-time Grammy Award-winning artist George Benson. Although I am not much of a jazz buff I have always enjoyed Benson's work. It seems that George has spent the last four years painstakingly developing a tribute to the legendary Nat King Cole. I have just sampled this disc a couple of times and I must tell you that the results were well worth the wait. "Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole" can best be described as 47 minutes of recorded bliss. The old master is clearly on top of his game as he belts out a dozen of the most memorable tunes from the Nat King Cole catalog. If you are anything like me you will come away clamoring for more.

The disc opens with a cute 0:57 snippet of 8 year old Lil' Georgie Benson performing "Mona Lisa". I am sure that Ol' George would be the first to admit that there was no indication here that he would go on to become such an accomplished vocalist! Track 2 gets down to business and finds Benson offering up a swinging rendition of "Just One of Those Things" which includes a bit of scat singing. Fantastic stuff! Now if you love the music of Nat King Cole as much as I do then you will be happy to learn that some of his all-time biggest hits are included on "Inspiration". You are sure to enjoy George's remarkable renditions of such favorites as "Walking My Baby Back Home", "Route 66" and "Ballerina". There are also a number of interesting duets featuring Judith Hill ("Too Young"), Wynton Marselis ("Unforgettable") and the German trumpet sensation Till Bronner ("Smile"). Meanwhile, George pays homage to the King Cole Trio with a swingin' rendition of "Straighten Up and Fly Right" that sounds every bit as good as the original!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By AngularJazz on June 4, 2013
Format: Audio CD
George Benson has been at it for only 5 decades - you'd think after all this time, he might run out of steam. The incredible thing about his new tribute album to Nat King Cole is that just the opposite has happened. The singing and guitar work is just as strong as the heyday of his career. I'm just baffled that he hasn't fallen off after all these years. Throw in some great cameos by Wynton Marsalis, Idina Menzel and Michael McDonald (+ more) and you have a classic album in the making.

Whether or not you're familiar with Nat's repertoire (I mean, who isn't at this point?) this album is enjoyable from start to finish and makes a great addition to any record collection. Highly recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Ciraolo on June 14, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nice arrangements. The guest vocals were amazing. Close your eyes and he sounds so much like Nat , it's amazing
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brent Faulkner, Jr. VINE VOICE on June 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD
George Benson is a legend, period. To provide perspective to his legendary musical status, Benson never has to release another album to affirm his place within music history. That said, thankfully Benson blesses his devoted fans with yet another album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. At the ripe 'young' age of 70, Benson flexes his vocal pipes with the swagger of a much younger man. Covering the staples of his musical idol, the late, great Nat King Cole, Benson easily does his idol justice. Never missing, Inspiration - A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is truly an 'inspiration' to not only Nat King Cole/George Benson fans, but fans of jazz, traditional pop, and all styles of music.

There is no need to analyze every number, but there are some noteworthy moments worth mentioning. Benson's swagger is lofty on "Just One of Those Things", where he scats incredibly agilely. He matches the same swagger on "Walkin' My Baby Back Home", a mid-tempo, grooving cut that'll easily incite the tapping of the foot. Later, "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter" gives off a similar aura. There there's those signature Nat King Cole cuts like "Unforgettable" (featuring Wynton Marsalis) or "Route 66", which both get 'grade A' interpretation from Benson. Vocal chemistry is superb on "When I Fall In Love", in which Idina Menzel blends capably with the vet. "Mona Lisa" both opens and closes the album. The first take is 'Lil George Benson' as an 8-year old accompanying his vocals with ukelele playing, from 1951. The closer is one of the more popular standards, and Benson makes it as magical in 2013 as it was back when.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lanky Music on June 4, 2013
Format: Audio CD
There couldn't be a more appropriate title for the new George Benson project than Inspiration. As a tribute to the great Nat King Cole, George wears his inspiration & affection for Nat King Cole on his sleeve, in his voice, and even in the artwork. It's from the heart...it's from the soul...and George Benson has never sounded better in his career.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Mobley on June 13, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful, lush tribute to a legend...by a legend. I am just delighted that Benson has returned to the studio to make more music for us. My only complaint would be that Benson seems to be channeling Nat King Cole when I would have preferred hearing his own stellar voice singing these classic tune.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Troy Wheeler on June 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have to say that I like this effort by the great GB.
This musical effort shows his amazing versatility as an artist!
The only problem that I have is that so many people have recorded these songs by Nat Cole that I have to put this particular cd in the good but not great range of the GB cannon! While listening to this session on my kindle fire (which by the way sounds great) I kept thinking about "Tenderly" which GB recorded some years ago and is in my opinion one of his best jazz efforts.
Just listen to Tenderly if you own it. You'll see what I mean.
I wish that GB's tribute to Nat Cole would have been a two cd offering.
It would have been great to hear Benson swing some instrumental tunes that Nat recorded with his trio but in a more modern tense! Overall, I am glad that I have this one.
I just think that GB could have developed this a bit more akin to the Tenderly session he recorded for Warner.
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