Monday, September 13, 2010

George Benson & Jack McDuff

George Benson was only 21 when, on May 1, 1964, he recorded his first album as a leader, The New Boss Guitar of George Benson. At that point, the guitarist had yet to become a huge name in jazz, although many of those who knew Benson for his work with Jack McDuff's group (which he joined in 1962) agreed that he showed great potential. Benson still had some growing to do in 1964, but even so, this is an impressive debut. The guitarist had developed a distinctive, recognizable sound on his instrument, and he plays with both feeling and technique on five Benson originals (including the sly "Shadow Dancers," the exuberant "Rock-A-Bye," and the earthy blues "I Don't Know") as well as interpretations of "Easy Living" and "Will You Still Be Mine." Benson, of course, had an insightful teacher in McDuff, who plays both organ and piano on this hard bop/soul-jazz date. Tenor saxophonist Red Holloway, another member of McDuff's early '60s group, is also on board, as are bassist Ronnie Boykins and drummer Montego Joe. Originally released on LP by Prestige, The New Boss Guitar of George Benson was reissued on CD for Fantasy's Original Jazz Classics series in 1990 (where Fantasy added "My Three Sons," a driving bonus track that finds Benson, McDuff and Holloway appearing on drummer Joe Dukes' The Soulful Drums session of May 14, 1964). In 1964, Benson's best work was yet to come -- nonetheless, this album is historically important as well as rewarding.
Alex Henderson
Source :

George Benson/Jack McDuff
The New Boss Guitar of George Benson
Hot Barbeque


1 Shadow Dancers (Benson) 4:45
2 The Sweet Alice Blues (Benson) 4:36
3 I Don't Know (Benson) 6:45
4 Just Another Sunday (Benson) 2:58
5 Will You Still Be Mine ? (Adair, Dennis) 4:25
6 Easy Living (Rainger, Robin) 6:33
7 Rock-A-Bye (Benson) 3:55
8 Hot Barbeque (McDuff) 3:01
9 The Party's Over (Comden, Green, Styne) 6:53
10 Briar Patch (McDuff) 2:55
11 Hippy Dip (McDuff) 6:30
12 601 1/2 North Poplar St. (McDuff) 14:17
13 Cry Me a River (Hamilton) 4:50
14 The Three Day Thang (McDuff) 3:37

[# 1-7] The New Boss Guitar of George Benson
Red Holloway - ts
Jack McDuff - org & p [# 5]
George Benson - g
Ronnie Boykins - b
Montego Joe - dr & perc
Recorded May 1, 1964
[# 8-14] Hot Barbeque - Brother Jack McDuff
Red Holloway - ts
Jack McDuff - org
George Benson - g
Joe Dukes - dr
Recorded October 19, 1965

McDuff had an excellent quartet for this mid-1960s soul-jazz outing, also including Red Holloway on saxes, George Benson on guitar, and Joe Dukes on drums. Nothing remarkable, just very enjoyable, high-spirited genre music, particularly on the title track, punctuated by shouts of the title phrase. It's mostly McDuff originals here, though they slow things down to cover "Cry Me a River." Benson gets a chance to unveil his best early jazz chops on "The Three Day Thang." The entire album was reissued as part of the 2001 Prestige CD The Soulful Drums, which also includes the entirety of the album The Soulful Drums, cut in 1964 by the same quartet (and billed to Dukes). That CD also has a 1964 track, "Redwood City," featuring the same quartet plus Tommy Shelvin on Fender bass, that didn't appear on either of those two albums originally (it was first released on the compilation LP The Soul/Jazz Giants). Note, however: although the album The Soulful Drums was billed to Dukes when initially released, the CD reissue that includes both it and Hot Barbecue is billed to McDuff.
Richie Unterberger
Source :


Melanchthon said...

PlantDoctor53 said...

Hi Mel. Thanks for McDuff/Benson.

ita diegues said...

Thank you melanchthon.

jazzfriend said...

Great album, thanks Melanchthon.

Saludos desde Chile.

Bill said...

Many thanks for sharing.

Pippo said...

Thank you Melanchthon, very nice albums.

Thad said...

Always love some good organ jazz. Bonus with the early Benson!

musician3 said...

Great Thank You