George Benson: Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams


Summer Wishes Winter Dreams


George Benson (guitar)


Bad Benson (Sony/BMG 724211)

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George Benson (guitar), Kenny Barron (piano), Phil Upchurch (guitar), Ron Carter (bass), Steve Gadd (drums),

John Frosk (brass), Alan Rubin (brass), Joe Shepley (brass), Wayne Andre (brass), Garnett Brown (brass), Warren Covington (brass), Paul Faulise (brass), Jim Buffington (brass), Brooks Tillotson (brass), Phil Bodner (reeds), George Marge (reeds), Al Regni (reeds), Seymour Barab (strings), Jessy Levy (strings), Frank Levy (strings), Charles McCracken (strings), Alan Shulman (strings), Paul Tobias (strings), Margaret Ross (harp)


Arranged by Don Sebesky


Recorded: Spring, 1974


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Many might find this pick way too schmaltzy, but I canít help including this movie theme ballad, super-sweetly orchestrated by Don Sebesky, because it highlights a side of George Bensonís musicianship that deserves consideration.

Here we find Benson in the setting made successful by Wes Montgomery on A&M Records almost a decade beforeójazz guitar accompanied by full orchestra. I believe that it takes nothing less than an instrumental master with star quality to carry an arrangement such as this, which wraps itself around Bensonís beautifully lush tone, voice-like phrasing and perfectly controlled pace. His embellishments of the melody show a musical depth that transcends jazz as a category and breaks through to being just plain good music. I love the gorgeous chord melody playing and the brilliant mini-cadenza just before the end.

Reviewer: Bobby Broom


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