Sunday, May 31, 2015

It's Uptown with The George Benson Quartet [Complete]

It's Uptown remains a germinal jazz guitar album. Columbia/Legacy reissued the 1966 classic in 2001, with five bonus tracks appended to the original 11-track program. Benson's guitar playing is drenched in bebop, but also strongly influenced by R&B and soul music, as is his quartet's sound overall. And the three vocal cuts — "Summertime," "A Foggy Day," "Stormy Weather" foretell Benson's well-deserved success as an R&B and pop singer. Lonnie Smith's organ and Ronnie Cuber's baritone sax provide the group with an unmistakable signature sound, perhaps dated at first blush, but timeless in actuality. Bonus tracks include the previously unreleased "J.H. Bossa Nova," alternates of "Clockwise" and "Eternally," and two cuts from Finger Lickin' Good, Lonnie Smith's album of the same year, featuring Cuber on tenor, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, and Charlie Persip on drums. "Sideman" stands up as a prescient kind of world music — Horace Silver meets Santana. [The 2001 CD reissue on Columbia/Legacy adds five bonus tracks. Three of these — an alternate take of "Clockwise," a short version of "Eternally," and "J.H. Bossa Nova" - were recorded in 1966, and previously unreleased. The other two are taken from Lonnie Smith's 1967 album Finger Lickin' Good Soul Organ, on which Benson plays.]
David R. Adler

Source :

George Benson
It's Uptown
With The George Benson Quartet


1 Clockwise (Benson)  4:26
2 Summertime (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward)  2:24
3 Ain't That Peculiar (Moore, Robinson, Rogers)  2:56
4 Jaguar (Benson)  2:52
5 Willow Weep for Me (Ronell)  7:42
6 A Foggy Day (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:39
7 Hello Birdie* (Benson)  3:59
8 Bullfight (Benson)  3:47
9 Stormy Weather* (Arlen, Koehler)  2:17
10 Eternally* (Benson)  4:04
11 Myna Bird Blues (Benson)  4:35
12 J. H. Bossa Nova (Benson)   3:10
13 Clockwise** [alt. take] (Benson)  4:56
14 Eternally* [short version] (Benson)  2:44
15 Sideman (Smith)   4:46
16 Minor Chant (Turrentine)  3:23


George Benson - g
Ronnie Cuber - bs
Blue Mitchell - tp
Lonnie Smith - org
Ray Lucas, Charlie Persip or Jimmy Lovelace - dr

Recorded in New York City ; February 9 & 10** ;  March 15*, 1966 ; & May 22, 1967 [# 15 & 16]


LaroSwing said...

Argl!!! Pas de liens pour George Benson - It's Uptown? 8-(

Chris said...

Thanks Mel, sadly I have lost my original cadet LPs this and Cookbook.

LaroSwing said...

Merci gracias thank you so much!

Toad said...

Very interesting the young Benson, thanks

fcapeau said...

In my own, i always think that JAZZ lost essential things when guys so talented as George Benson or Sacha Distel Transfered their guitar Art & Knowledledge to commercial Pop songs. So, that's History ! The Road of facility is easiest to follow .....
Many thanks, Mel for this beautiful post.

Albertito Jazz said...

Gracias Melanchthon!

neil said...

Now he's gone, it's time to remember him...

Otis Foster said...

Thnx Melanchthon. I don't know much about Benson's jazz chops.

jazzcat1228 said...

Very interested to hear the young George Benson showing off his jazz chops. Thank you, Mel!

Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Really nice! Thank you.

stringbender said...

Great side! Many thanks.

AmyBRAINS said...

A nice curiosity to me.
Many thanks, Melanchthon.

rintesh said...

Thanks for the review.