Skip to comments.George Benson Recounts “criminal” Encounter With Beatles
Posted on 09/11/2009 6:58:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway
As The Beatles take center stage in the music world this week with the much-anticipated reissue of their albums, its easy to forget that the Fab Four were not exactly adored by large swathes of the musical community back in the day. Jazz artists, especially, looked down on the noisy pop stars (or were more likely envious of their fame and fortune).
It used to be a crime for a jazz musician to even mention the word Beatles, jazz guitarist George Benson recalled on Thursday, during a promotion for his new album at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles.
There was such a divide between rock music and jazz music We just didnt discuss anything like that.
There were some notable crossover efforts, including Ella Fitzgerald with her versions of Cant Buy Me Love and Got To Get You Into My Life.
But among the instrumentalists, it was not possible, said Benson, who was forced to keep his admiration for The Beatles a secret. I liked The Beatles. It just was against the law, he said.
But within weeks of the 1969 release of The Beatles album Abbey Road, Benson found himself in the studio, at the best of his label boss, doing a jazz version of the album with a chamber orchestra. The Other Side of Abbey Road, complete with a cover that showed Benson carrying his guitar across the road, scrambled the order of the tunes, recasting most of them in medley form. He also sang on the album for the last time until his smash 1976 Warner Bros. label debut Breezin.
It took me to a place I had never been before, he said of the Abbey Road sessions, singing the first line of Golden Slumbers for good measure.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.reuters.com ...
“against the law” ? lol that’s just black culture and attempting to live up to a black stereotype, that’s all Queen Latifah got a lot of clack & flack when she went on the Jenny Craig diet,why ,you ask? for portraying black women who “need to lose weight”, and not living up to a stereotypical “black woman” that’s why and it came from the black community itself. I wonder if Phylicia Rashad has encountered black resistance when she joined and publicized her weight loss on Jenny Craig? Both are beautiful black women,too.
Just like Carly Simon doing Torch songs - it just ain’t right....
While the Beatles were not a jazzy sounding band their melodic tunes and creative song arrangements with oftentimes jazz-like chords were forerunners in their brand of music. Take a song like “Here, There and Everywhere” and the chord progressions are so variable and yet with fantastic melody! Beatle music forever!
I think George Benson is one of the best guitarists ever.
Yeh—George Benson has that double note cool tube sound to his style— a bit similar in style to jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery of the 50’s 60’s era.
I don’t play myself, but I have a quick ear, I guess, cuz listening to sloppy technique drives me batty.
On the other side, listening to guys like GB is sublime.
Even when he plays fast it’s like he gives every note its due. It’s clean.
Not to mention that the guy has pipes—a great singer.
I don't interpret it that way. He's making a joke, that's all. It's about jazz vs. rock and roll, not black vs. white. Maybe you have to be a musician to get it.
possibly, but then again i am a musician myself
Had the pleasure of meeting Mr Benson a few years ago.
My wife and I were attending a Kingdom Hall (JW’S) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla when .. “I Thought” that I recognized the speaker that day!
Yep, sure enough, it was George Benson.
A real quiet and down to earth brother. (Brother, meaning the same faith)
He didn’t ask and wasn’t given any type of “Star” treatment.
Class Act of a Guy!.
I enjoy playing the celloclassic and jazz flute and certainly not both at the same time. I love classical music and it’s structure and would certainly love to learn jazz cello. I’ve music in my bones that all i can say. I think it’s how the brain is wired don’t you?
For many guitar afficionadoes like myself, Benson bridged the gap between pop and jazz guitar (although I'm a fan of traditonal jazz guitar too ala Tal Farlow, Django Reinhardt, etal). In fact he called his guitar style sophisticated rhythm and blues. I still like his early albums where he did impressions of rock tunes from the sixties including songs from the Jefferson Airplane among others. Guitar fans on this forum who think music begins and ends with loud, dissonant rock guitar should broaden their horizons and listen to real guitar masters like Benson.
I’ve always enjoyed GB’s music through his different styles - primarily because of his “clean” style as you suggested. My first listen reminded me of Wes Montgomery and another pioneer (with Charlie Christianson) of that clean style. Never gets tiring!
i really think it’s how you literally embrace the cello while playing that makes it such a part of a person’s entire being...
cello is mellow