George Benson is a stunning guitarist whose jazz work is too far out for pop audiences and whose pop work is often too mainstream for jazz fans. Benson was a child prodigy who hit the professional circuit at age 8 with a homemade guitar (any jazz snob who questions his future pop output didn't grow up poor) and a pure Soul voice. He consumed the different styles of Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery and Grant Green, put his own spin on them and was noted for often scatting over his guitar lines as he solos. He went on to record with Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock before hitting it big with a series of top-shelf Fusion jazz albums on CTI. His vocal on "This Masquerade" and his guitar instrumental "Breezin'" both became deserving mega-hits in the 1970s. After a period in the '80s as an R&B star, Benson moved into position as a Smooth Jazz elder statesman. It's a position he holds to this day, but Benson still displays his "pure" jazz chops in concert and increasingly on his albums.
George Benson Concert Films
Runtime: 1 hr 29 minGeorge Benson is one of the great live performers and this concert filmed at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast captures him at his very best. With guest appearances from the Crusaders Joe Sample, the BBC Big Band and members of the Ulster Orchestra, George reels off all his classic hits including: Love x Love, Turn Your Love Around, Never Give Up On A Good Thing, In Your Eyes, Give Me The Night and more.
George Benson Top Tracks
Live at Montreux
Runtime: 1 hr 27 minDavid Sanborn has been a frequent visitor to the Montreux Jazz Festival, either headlining in his own right, as a sideman or as part of nineties "super group" Legends. This program focuses on his second headlining appearance in 1984 when he was touring in support of his "Straight To The Heart" album, which would see him win the second of his six Grammy Awards to date. The set combines tracks from that album with others from across his career. It features a special guest appearance by Rickie Lee Jones on piano and vocals on the track "Autumn Leaves". In 2008 David Sanborn released his 23rd album and his diverse career continues to thrive both on stage and in the studio.
We Live Here
Pat Metheny Group
Runtime: 1 hr 50 minSome six years after their previous studio album, the Pat Metheny Group regrouped in 1995 to release the album We Live Here. This was to be the first of a set of three albums that the band refer to as the triptych, the others being Quartet (1996) and Imaginary Day (1997). Following the release of the album, the Pat Metheny Group embarked on a world tour during which this concert was filmed in Japan. Many of the tracks from the We Live Here album are included along with others from their various eighties albums. There are short interview segments with the band members inserted between some of the songs which give an insight into the creation of the album and life on the tour.
Live at Montreux Jazz Fest 1996
Runtime: 2 hr 3 minWhen an artist of the stature of Quincy Jones celebrates his 75th birthday you can be sure its going to be quite a party. The show took place on July 14th 2008 at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival, an event with which Quincy Jones has a long and rich history, and the cream of musical talent turned up to serenade Quincy on this very special occasion. The main concert lasted over two and a half hours and the musicians then spilled out into the bars and cafes of Montreux with the music still going strong as the sun was coming up the next morning!