George Benson: Poquito Spanish, Poquito Funk


Poquito Spanish, Poquito Funk


George Benson (guitar, vocals)


Standing Together (GRP 9906)

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George Benson (guitar, vocals),

with personnel including: Jerry Hey (trumpet), Larry Williams (reeds), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Paul Brown (programming), Lil’ John Roberts (drums, cymbals) Melvin Davis(keyboards, synthesizer), Tim Heintz (keyboards, synthesizer), Luisito Quintero (percussion)


Recorded: 1998


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

I hadn’t received a visit from the old George Benson in quite some time and I must admit, I kinda missed him. Then one night while I was driving home from a gig, he showed up via the radio station playing a new tune he’d just released. I visited there with him a while and then found myself pulling over to the side of the road so I could give him my full attention.

“Poquito Spanish, Poquito Funk” is a burnished, nouveau-Latin, funk piece; the production quality will probably never sound dated in any bad way. In fact, both the production and the groove are to die for. George plays the vocal roles of some urban characters in the intro before he graces us with the melody in octaves first, then finally adds his unison voice to his guitar, the last of his stylistic trademarks. His voice accompanies the first part of the solo, perfectly following his moves from octaves to double-stops and back. In part two of the solo he features his single-line playing, at first with the pick, but quickly switches to the thumb. His ideas are as harmonically compelling as ever, but with more thoughtful probing and emotional depth. I like the fact that he plays his most interesting stuff jazz-wise without the pick. He’s havin’ a good ol’ time, and has nothing to prove. As one of his alter ego characters says to him during the track, he’s still the baddest.

Reviewer: Bobby Broom


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