George Benson's Breezin: A Classic Jazz/Soul Album
George Benson is one of the most acclaimed and versatile guitarists and vocalists in the history of jazz and soul music. He has won 10 Grammy Awards and has sold over 50 million records worldwide. One of his most successful and influential albums is Breezin, released in 1976 on Warner Bros. Records.
Breezin was Benson's debut on Warner Bros. Records, after a long and fruitful career on CTI Records, where he recorded with jazz legends like Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, and Stanley Turrentine. Breezin was a breakthrough album for Benson, as it not only topped the jazz charts, but also reached #1 on the pop and R&B charts, making it one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time. It was certified triple platinum by the RIAA.
The album features six tracks, ranging from smooth jazz to funky soul to Latin-infused grooves. The title track, written by Bobby Womack, is a breezy instrumental that showcases Benson's fluid and melodic guitar playing. The second track, "This Masquerade", is a cover of a Leon Russell song that became Benson's first vocal hit. He sings with a warm and soulful tone, and also scats along with his guitar solo, creating a unique and memorable sound. The third track, "Six to Four", is a funky fusion tune that features Ronnie Foster on electric piano and Minimoog synthesizer. The fourth track, "Affirmation", is another instrumental that displays Benson's virtuosity and expressiveness on the guitar. The fifth track, "So This Is Love?", is a romantic ballad that features Jorge Dalto on acoustic piano. The sixth and final track, "Lady", is a catchy and upbeat song that features Phil Upchurch on rhythm guitar and bass.
Breezin was produced by Tommy LiPuma, who also worked with Benson on his subsequent albums. The arrangements and orchestration were done by Claus Ogerman, who also collaborated with Benson on his later albums. The album was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California, and mixed by Al Schmitt at The Mastering Lab.
Breezin is widely regarded as one of Benson's finest albums, and one of the most influential albums in jazz/soul history. It has been praised by critics and fans alike for its musical diversity, artistic excellence, and commercial appeal. It has also been sampled by many hip-hop artists, such as De La Soul, Nas, Common, and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
If you are looking for a classic jazz/soul album that showcases George Benson's talents as a guitarist and vocalist, you should definitely check out Breezin. You can download the full album zip file from various online sources[^1^] [^2^], or stream it on YouTube[^3^]. You won't regret it!
Breezin has received many positive reviews from critics and fans over the years, who have praised its blend of jazz and soul, its production quality, and its impact on popular music. For example, Richard S. Ginell from AllMusic wrote that "Breezin is widely regarded as one of Benson's finest albums, and one of the most influential albums in jazz/soul history" [^1^]. Mark Corroto from All About Jazz shared his personal story of how Breezin turned him into a jazz fan and led him to explore other jazz artists and styles [^2^]. C. Michael Bailey from All About Jazz also expressed his appreciation for Breezin as one of his first jazz purchases and commented on its "contemporary" sound and "jazz" credentials [^3^].
Breezin also showcases Benson's versatility as a musician, as he plays both electric and acoustic guitar, sings, and scats on the album. He demonstrates his mastery of different genres and techniques, such as blues, funk, Latin, fusion, bebop, and ballads. He also displays his ability to improvise and create memorable melodies and solos. His guitar tone is warm and clear, his phrasing is smooth and expressive, and his voice is rich and emotive. He is supported by a stellar cast of musicians, such as Ronnie Foster on keyboards, Phil Upchurch on rhythm guitar and bass, Jorge Dalto on piano, Stanley Banks on bass, Harvey Mason on drums, and Ralph MacDonald on percussion. The arrangements and orchestration by Claus Ogerman add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the album.
Breezin is a classic album that deserves to be listened to by anyone who enjoys jazz, soul, or pop music. It is a testament to George Benson's talent, creativity, and influence as a guitarist and vocalist. It is also a reminder of how jazz can reach a wide audience without compromising its artistic integrity or losing its identity. Breezin is an album that will make you feel good, groove along, and appreciate the beauty of music. 248dff8e21