Get this crazy baby off my head!


George Benson & Al Jarreau

George Benson & Al Jarreau - Givin' It Up - 2006 - Concord Records

Givin' It Up is a first-time recording/collaboration between seasoned and highly celebrated jazz artists-vocalist Al Jarreau and guitarist George Benson. It contains signature classics previously recorded by both veteran artists (Benson's "Breezin" and Jarreau's "Mornin") and original music of which both gentlemen masterfully contribute their talents. Other noteworthy vocalists and musicians featured are Jill Scott, Patti Austin, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Abe Laboriel, Chris Botti, Marcus Miller, and Beatles Legend Paul McCartney. This project also contains standards by Billie Holiday (God Bless The Child) and Sam Cooke (Bring It On Home To Me), popular classics by Seals and Crofts (Summer Breeze) and Daryl Hall (Everytime You Go Away) along with the classic jazz-swing "Four" by the legendary Miles Davis, and the neo-soul hit "Ordinary People" by John Legend. At 49th Grammy Awards, Benson was awarded his 9th (or 10th) and Jarreau was awarded his 6th Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance on "God Bless The Child'" with Jill Scott. Benson also won his 10th (or 9th) Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance on "Mornin'". - Wiki.

Givin' It Up finds crossover jazz icons guitarist George Benson and vocalist Al Jarreau teaming up for a breezy, enjoyably melodic session that highlights both artists' long careers. Technically a duo album, it is Benson's first since signing with Concord Records. As such, it works as a nice reintroduction to both artists and even finds them reworking the Bobby Womack classic "Breezin'," which Benson originally covered on his 1976 album of the same name. Here listeners get Jarreau adding lyrics and vocals on a version that really evokes the classic '70s jazz-meets-R&B sound that was an original hallmark of smooth jazz. In that sense, Givin' It Up is a true joy for fans of that more organic, song-oriented approach to crossover music, with Benson and Jarreau digging in to such great songs as Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze," John Legend's "Ordinary People," and Darryl Hall's "Every Time You Go Away." Also adding some unexpected fun and celebrity sheen to the proceedings is an impromptu appearance by Paul McCartney, who joins in on Sam Cooke's gospel-inflected "Bring It on Home to Me." Throw in appearances by trumpeter Chris Botti, vocalist Patti Austin, pianist Herbie Hancock, and bassist Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke, and Givin' It Up proves music is always fun with a little help from your friends. © Matt Collar © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/givin-it-up-mw0000410127

This much-anticipated 13-track recording features each of the stars on a new arrangement of one of the other’s biggest hits – Jarreau adding lyrics to and singing Benson’s signature instrumental smash “Breezin’,” while the legendary jazz guitarist delivers a lovely instrumental version of the singer’s eternally charming hit “Mornin’.” Givin’ It Up also includes delicious covers of Seals & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” and Hall & Oates’ (and Paul Young smash) “Every Time You Go Away,” as well as stunning new jazz vocal versions of the Miles Davis classics “Four” and “‘Long Come Tutu.” Givin’ It Up was recorded between April and June, 2006. Serendipitously, pop legend, Paul McCartney, happened to be in the studio next door during one session and dropped in to join Benson and Jarreau on an impromptu romp through Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me.” Neo soul diva, Jill Scott, performs Billie Holiday’s timeless “God Bless the Child.” Rounding out the album is an instrumental take on John Legend’s GRAMMY award-winning soul smash, “Ordinary People” and four new compositions, including a new Jarreau and Barry Eastmond composition, “Let it Rain,” which features Patti Austin and Chris Botti. An A-list of musicians appear on Givin’ It Up: keyboardists Patrice Rushen, Rex Rideout and Herbie Hancock; bassists Marcus Miller, Abraham Laboriel and Stanley Clarke; guitarists Dean Parks, Ray Fuller and Michael Thompson; saxophonist Marion Meadows; and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Michael White. © 2013 Concord Music Group, Inc. http://www2.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/Givin-It-Up/

Lloyd Sachs on Amazon.com says that "Even in smooth mode, they have done livelier work than this". joemacktheknife, also on Amazon.com says that "The album is a masterful collection of smooth, seductive grooves and inspired reinterpretations of Benson's and Jarreau's most classic songs". Many music critics have described this album as being too slick, "poppy", commercial, and overproduced. This album could be labelled "smooth jazz", but it's definitely not the bland, background elevator same old smooth jazz that is churned out every day of the week. Some of George Benson's best guitar work can be heard on this album as can some of Al Jarreau's best vocal performances. A great smooth jazz album of many different styles with a long list of great musicians contributing. You would normally find jazz fusion on this blog, but "Givin' It Up" has real merit and deserves a place on this blog. George Benson's "Shape of Things to Come" album is an all time jazz guitar classic, and Al Jarreau's "Tomorrow Today" is a wonderful soul jazz vocal album. Check them out! [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 139 Mb]


1 Breezin'– Al Jarreau, Bobby Womack 5:40
2 Mornin' - Al Jarreau, David Foster, Jay Graydon 5:02
3 'Long Come Tutu - Al Jarreau, Marcus Miller 6:37
4 God Bless The Child - Arthur Herzog, Jr., Billie Holiday 3:40
5 Summer Breeze - Dash Crofts, Jimmy Seals 5:01
6 All I Am - Philip Jackson, Rex Rideout 3:23
7 Ordinary People - John Legend, Will I Am 5:18
8 Let It Rain - Al Jarreau, Barry Eastmond 4:54
9 Givin' It Up For Love - Al Jarreau, Freddie Ravel 3:57
10 Every Time You Go Away - Darryl Hall 4:30
11 Four - Jon Hendricks, Miles Davis 5:15
12 Don't Start No Schtuff - Al Jarreau, Joe Turano 4:44
13 Bring It On Home To Me - Sam Cooke 4:25


Vocals, Guitar – George Benson
Vocals, Scat, Vocalese [Vocal Percussion] – Al Jarreau
Guitar – Dean Parks (tracks: 1,5,8,10,13), Freddie Fox (tracks: 2,7), Michael O'Neill (tracks: 9), Michael Thompson (tracks: 10), Ray Fuller (tracks: 1,5)
Bass – Abraham Laboriel (tracks: 1,6,13), Marcus Miller (tracks: 3,4,5,8,10), Mel Brown (tracks: 2,7), Stanley Clarke (tracks: 11,12)
Keyboards – Barry Eastmond (tracks: 8), Freddie Ravel (tracks: 9), Joe Turano (tracks: 12), Larry Williams (tracks: 1,5,10), Michael Broening (tracks: 2,7,13), Patrice Rushen (tracks: 3,4,6,8,10,11,12,13)
Piano – Herbie Hancock (tracks: 3), Randy Waldman (tracks: 13), Rex Rideout (tracks: 6)
Drums – Gregg Field (tracks: 6), Michael White (5) (tracks: 2,3,7), Ricky Lawson (tracks: 6), Vinnie Colaiuta (tracks: 1,4,5,8,10,11,12,13)
Percussion – Bashiri Johnson (tracks: 8), Paulinho Da Costa (tracks: 1,5,8,10,13)
Saxophone – Marion Meadows (tracks: 2,7)
Trumpet – Chris Botti (tracks: 8)
Vocals – Patti Austin (tracks: 8), Paul McCartney (tracks: 13)
Backing Vocals – Alethea Mills (tracks: 9,13), Chavonne Morris (tracks: 9,13), Darlene Perry (tracks: 8), De'Ante Duckett (tracks: 9,13), Lorraine Perry (tracks: 8), Maxi Anderson (tracks: 8), Sandra Simmons Williams (tracks: 8), Sharon Perry (tracks: 8), Valerie Pinkston (tracks: 8)


George Benson is simply one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history, but he is also an amazingly versatile musician, and that frustrates to no end critics who would paint him into a narrow bop box. He can play in just about any style -- from swing to bop to R&B to pop -- with supreme taste, a beautiful rounded tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing. His inspirations may have been Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery -- and he can do dead-on impressions of both -- but his style is completely his own. Not only can he play lead brilliantly, he is also one of the best rhythm guitarists around, supportive to soloists and a dangerous swinger, particularly in a soul-jazz format. Yet Benson can also sing in a lush, soulful tenor with mannerisms similar to those of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, and it is his voice that has proved to be more marketable to the public than his guitar. Benson is the guitar-playing equivalent of Nat King Cole -- a fantastic pianist whose smooth way with a pop vocal eventually eclipsed his instrumental prowess in the marketplace -- but unlike Cole, Benson has been granted enough time after his fling with the pop charts to reaffirm his jazz guitar credentials, which he still does at his concerts. Benson actually started out professionally as a singer, performing in nightclubs at eight, recording four sides for RCA's X label in 1954, forming a rock band at 17 while using a guitar that his stepfather made for him. Exposure to records by Christian, Montgomery, and Charlie Parker got him interested in jazz, and by 1962, the teenaged Benson was playing in Brother Jack McDuff's band. After forming his own group in 1965, Benson became another of talent scout John Hammond's major discoveries, recording two highly regarded albums of soul-jazz and hard bop for Columbia and turning up on several records by others, including Miles Davis' Miles in the Sky. He switched to Verve in 1967, and, shortly after the death of Montgomery in June 1968, producer Creed Taylor began recording Benson with larger ensembles on A&M (1968-1969) and big groups and all-star combos on CTI (1971-1976). While the A&M and CTI albums certainly earned their keep and made Benson a guitar star in the jazz world, the mass market didn't catch on until he began to emphasize vocals after signing with Warner Bros. in 1976. His first album for Warner Bros., Breezin', became a Top Ten hit on the strength of its sole vocal track, "This Masquerade," and this led to a string of hit albums in an R&B-flavored pop mode, culminating with the Quincy Jones-produced Give Me the Night. As the '80s wore on, though, Benson's albums became riddled with commercial formulas and inferior material, with his guitar almost entirely relegated to the background. Perhaps aware of the futility of chasing the charts (after all, "This Masquerade" was a lucky accident), Benson reversed his field late in the '80s to record a fine album of standards, Tenderly, and another with the Basie band, his guitar now featured more prominently. His pop-flavored work also improved noticeably in the '90s. Benson retains the ability to spring surprises on his fans and critics, like his dazzlingly idiomatic TV appearance and subsequent record date with Benny Goodman in 1975 in honor of John Hammond, and his awesome command of the moment at several Playboy Jazz Festivals in the '80s. His latter-day recordings include the 1998 effort Standing Together, 2000's Absolute Benson, 2001's All Blues, and 2004's Irreplaceable. Three songs from 2006's Givin' It Up, recorded with Al Jarreau, were nominated for Grammy Awards in separate categories. Benson began to see numerous reissues of his catalog material from his years with producer Creed Taylor on Verve, A&M, and CTI, from 2008 on. In 2009, he signed to Concord and released Songs and Stories for the label, and followed it up with his first primarily instrumental album in 35 years entitled Guitar Man in 2011. © Richard S. Ginell © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/george-benson-mn0000201760


The only vocalist in history to net Grammy awards in three different categories (jazz, pop, and R&B, respectively), Al Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, WI, on April 12, 1940. The son of a vicar, he earned his first performing experience singing in the church choir. After receiving his master's degree in psychology, Jarreau pursued a career as a social worker, but eventually he decided to relocate to Los Angeles and try his hand in show business, playing small clubs throughout the West Coast.
He recorded an LP in the mid-'60s, but largely remained an unknown, not reentering the studio for another decade. Upon signing to Reprise, Jarreau resurfaced in 1975 with We Got By, earning acclaim for his sophisticated brand of vocalese and winning positive comparison to the likes of Billy Eckstine and Johnny Mathis. After 1976's Glow, Jarreau issued the following year's Look to the Rainbow, a two-disc live set that reached the Top 50 on the U.S. album charts. With 1981's Breakin' Away, he entered the Top Ten, scoring a pair of hits with "We're in This Love Together" and the title track. After recording 1986's L Is for Lover with producer Nile Rodgers, Jarreau scored a hit with the theme to the popular television program Moonlighting, but his mainstream pop success was on the wane, and subsequent efforts like 1992's Heaven and Earth and 1994's Tenderness found greater success with adult contemporary audiences. A string of budget compilations and original albums hit the shelves at the end of the decade, but into the turn of the century his original output slowed down. That was until he signed with the Verve/GRP label in 1998 and reunited with producer Tommy LiPuma. LiPuma had produced Jarreau's ostensible 1975 debut, We Got By, and the pairing seemed to reinvigorate Jarreau, who went on to release three stellar albums under LiPuma's guidance, including 2000's Tomorrow Today, 2002's All I Got, and Accentuate the Positive in 2004. © Jason Ankeny © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/al-jarreau-mn0000606283


George Benson and Al Jarreau first met in the mid-1970s at the Coconut Grove Ballroom in the landmark Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Benson recalls, “Al sang lyrics to ‘Take Five’ which I’d never heard before. I’d recorded an instrumental version of the track on my album Bad Benson, so I was really checking this cat out. His style of improvising was quite interesting.” Of Benson, Jarreau adds, “George and I share something of the same age, but George can describe things he was doing as a professional at the age of 8! He was an idol within the jazz community, one that I aspired to, but I didn’t arrive on the scene with my first record until seventeen years later in 1975. George was a hero to me.” While both men recorded for Warner (‘70s and ‘80s) and Verve (‘90s and ‘00s), they only worked together twice after that night in LA: one impromptu sit-in before a lucky few at the Blue Note in New York, and a recording session for two songs on Jon Hendricks’ 1990 CD, Freddie Freeloader. Benson states, “In the early days, there was a bit of battling, but it was more our managers that kept us from being closer.” Jarreau adds, “This simply falls in the category of it wasn’t supposed to happen until now.” While co-headlining a concert tour in summer of 2006 initially brought these two men together, it was thanks to a meeting of the minds between the Concord Music Group and audiophile equipment behemoth Monster Cable that finally sent George Benson and Al Jarreau into the recording studio. The result is a landmark, 13-song album called Givin’ It Up. © 2013 Concord Music Group, Inc. http://www2.concordmusicgroup.com/artists/George-Benson-Al-Jarreau/

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...



Password is aoofc