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Songs & Stories

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Audio CD, August 25, 2009
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight 3:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Family Reunion 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Show Me The Love 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. A Telephone Call Away 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Someday We'll All Be Free 6:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Nuthin' But A Party 5:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Come In From The Cold 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Exotica 5:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Rainy Night In Georgia 4:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. One Like You 4:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Living In High Definition 7:14Album Only
listen12. Sailing 5:15$1.29  Buy MP3 

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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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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 25, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B002G4FQI4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,644 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

George Benson is truly a legend; a guitarist of unparalleled chops and a vocalist with great emotional range and sophistication, and this 2009 release finds him at his very best! Songs and Stories is a collection of tunes penned by some of the most prolific and enduring songwriters of the last half-century. The combined talents of these writers and musicians make for a series of unforgettable tales, and Benson himself is the narrator who weaves it all together. Many of the songs were written specifically for this new recording, while others were hand-picked by Benson for their ability to convey simple but universal truths about the human experience. Features new material from songwriting legends Bill Withers, Lamont Dozier and Smokey Robinson and includes performances by special guests David Paich, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway, Lee Ritenour, Norman Brown, Patti Austiin, Steve Lukather, Tom Scott and many others.

Customer Reviews

I especially enjoyed the Bill Withers contribution "Only A Telephone Away".
Happy's Mom
Whenever George Benson drop a CD, believe this it's always great and after all these years, he continue to hit the mark and this album bring it.
The sound quality is equal or superior to my Blu-Ray music discs (primarily 2L, for those familiar with classical).
Jeffrey Hunter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jazz for the dappers on August 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Veteran smooth jazz guitar master George Benson is no one-dimensional purveyor of musical wallpaper.
He is, without question, one of the few remaining true musical legends.
Guitar is his genius, but it is George Benson's voice that is his fame and fortune.
It is 30 years since Benson made a similar strategic decision to go with the smooth, choosing mass appeal over the affection of a chin-stroking jazz minority.
It means that today the 66-year old is able to step sprightly forth to an introduction that describes him portentously as "ten-time Grammy award winner George Benson".
Few musicians master even one style of writing and performing in their lifetime, but Benson has at least two under his belt - soulful R&B and authentic Wes Montgomery-style jazz guitar.
The fact that he works in two camps should work against him, but it didn't. Jazz fans ought to be horrified that he sings pop songs, while the R&B fans should be scratching their heads when he starts playing be-bop guitar lines. Somehow he pulls everyone together, though, and gets roars of approval whether he's singing seductively a deep and velvety ballad, or pulling off the kind of guitar licks that Django Reinhardt would have been proud of.
This recording is another snapshot of a career that has spanned nearly five decades and many successful albums, and it wires towads the smooth side.
The beauty of the set is the band's ability to move between genres Soul, Jazz, Funk and back again.
It's a mixed bag, older songs such as Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All be Free" matched by some new pop tunes such as Marc Broussard's "Come in From The Cold".
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Feel on August 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
George Benson is back after being off the scene for a while with his new CD "Songs And Stories". Truly a musical legend and icon with is own inimitable style, Benson has covered nearly every musical territory around including jazz, R&B, pop and back to jazz again. After nearly fifty years in the biz, he still has the vocal chops and guitar licks that made him one of the best and most beloved jazz artists ever.

Produced by John Burk and bassist Marcus Miller, "Songs And Stories" offers good music from beginning to end, with an array of talented writers and guest musicians that are almost all household names to any music fan. Benson does several remakes of classic ballads here, including "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" (James Taylor), "Someday We'll All Be Free" (Donny Hathaway), "Rainy Night In Georgia" (Brook Benton), and "Sailing" (Christopher Cross). His rendition of "Someday..." is just outstanding, both vocally and musically, with a great guitar solo.

But the highlight on this CD is "Living In High Definition", a 7-minute up-tempo instrumental perfectly suited for cruising, where Benson does his signature scatting-in-sync-with-guitar. This song is just awesome. I heard it on the radio a month prior to the CD's release and I was instantly hooked. I just had to buy this one! (Surprisingly, "Living In High Definition" was written by the legendary Motown composer Lamont Dozier).

The other highlight is "Exotica", also an instrumental where Benson cuts loose on his guitar, accompanied by Patti Austin on vocal fills. The aptly titled "Nuthin' But A Party" really funks it up with featured guest Norman Brown on guitar and of course, Marcus Miller on bass.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alan Dorfman VINE VOICE on August 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Although well-known and respected prior, George Benson's 1976 million-selling album "Breezin'," with its Record Of The Year Grammy Award winning cover of Leon Russell's "This Masquerade," almost single-handedly created the genre of contemporary/smooth jazz. Approximately 33 1/3 years later his new CD "Songs And Stories" proves he is still the master of the form and is still in top form both instrumentally and vocally.

Flawlessly produced and brilliantly recorded, "Songs And Stories" presents us with tunes by great writers such as James Taylor ("Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,") Rod Temperton of Heatwave and "Thriller" fame ("Family Reunion"), Bill Withers ("A Telephone Call Away",) Tony Joe White ("Rainy Night In Georgia"), Smokey Robinson ("One Like You") and Christopher Cross ("Sailing"), all with those special, smooth George Benson vocals and guitar.

If George's presence alone is not enough for you, he has surrounded himself with a "who's who" of studio musicians and vocalists including co-producer Marcus Miller on bass, Greg Phillinganes and Rod Temperton on keyboards, Tom Scott and Gerald Brown on saxophones, Wah Wah Watson and Norman Brown on guitars, Paulinho Da Costa on perccussion and Lalah Hathaway and Patti Austin on featured and background vocals. Not surprisingly everyone is at the top of their game and George Benson is not afraid to step back and let them shine.
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