Bad Benson

Bad Benson

by George Benson


Preceding Breezin', his crossover smash for Warner in 1976, Bad Benson shows the guitarist still hanging on to his Wes Montgomery roots in places while stretching his soul-jazz persona into even funkier arenas. CTI had a formula for making funky, accessible jazz and fusion records that in 1974 still held true. Arranged by Don Sebesky, Bad Benson is a collection of delicious, varied, and sometimes confusing choices. Benson's own playing is precise and smooth as always, and guitarist Phil Upchurch keeps a large color palette for him to draw from, as in the funkified version of "Take Five." Other notables are the stellar "My Latin Brother," which begins as a Debussy-ian impressionistic string study before becoming a heavily arpeggiated variation on the samba. Kenny Barron's pianism here is the driving force behind a rhythm section that also includes drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Ron Carter. They give Benson a harmonic floor for one of the most inspiring solos of his career. These intensely meaty cuts -- along with Upchurch's stellar swinging in the pocket groover "Full Compass" -- are juxtaposed against ballads such as "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" and "The Changing World," a pair of ballads that ape Montgomery's later snore-fest session for A&M. Not a great album, but a very, very good one. [Some reissues include three bonus tracks from the session: a hip and syncopated read of "Take the 'A' Train" (with truly surreal and shimmering colors courtesy of Sebesky's string section) and the amazingly driving, greasy funk of "Serbian Blue," as well as a simply beautiful -- and brief -- solo from Benson called "From Now On."]

Product Details

Release Date: 03/01/2008
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC: 0886972421124
catalogNumber: 724211


  1. Take Five
  2. Summer Wisher/Winter Dreams
  3. My Latin Brother
  4. No Sooner Said Than Done
  5. Full Compass
  6. The Changing World
  7. Take the "A" Train
  8. Serbian Blue

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Benson   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Phil Bodner   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Flute,English Horn
Ron Carter   Bass
Warren Covington   Trombone
Phil Upchurch   Bass,Guitar,Percussion
Wayne Andre   Trombone
Seymour Barab   Cello
Kenny Barron   Piano
Raymond Beckenstein   Flute
Garnett Brown   Trombone
James Buffington   French Horn
Paul Faulise   Bass Trombone
Steve Gadd   Drums
Guildhall String Ensemble   Strings
Jesse Levy   Cello
George Marge   Flute,English Horn,Piccolo
Charles McCracken   Cello
Albert Regni   Clarinet,Flute
Margaret Ross   Harp
Alan Shulman   Cello
Brooks Tillotson   French Horn
Paul Tobias   Cello
Frank Levy   Cello

Technical Credits

Alan Bergman   Composer
Marilyn Bergman   Composer
Didier C. Deutsch   Producer
Don Sebesky   Arranger
Rudy Van Gelder   Engineer
Johnny Mandel   Composer
Creed Taylor   Producer

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Bad Benson 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the 1974 album just before he had great acclaim for his 1976 "Breezin" album Geogre Benson's "Bad Benson" had become a wonderful self proclaimed album which includes the classic "No Sooner Said Than Done" which features Phil Upchurch on gutair and the melody still brings back memories in which this song is still a classic. In other words check out the rest of the CD but as for "No Sooner Said than Done" it is still a Smash hit in my book.