George Benson

The Best of George Benson: The Instrumentals

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Anyone who despaired about the total lack of instrumentals on Warners' unrepresentative The Best of George Benson will be overjoyed by this sequel, Best of George Benson: The Instrumentals, which contains nothing but instrumentals (that may have been the game plan all along). Admittedly, the instrumental pickings in the Warner catalog are slimmer than, say, those for Benson's pre-"This Masquerade" recordings on CBS/CTI and A&M/Verve, and the style is often slanted toward the kind of easy jazz heard on "The Wave" radio format. But Benson could still create funky fireworks with his guitar on tunes like "Dinorah, Dinorah," "Affirmation," and "Weekend in L.A.," and Benson's off-the-cuff fluency is shown off to stunning effect all alone on "Tenderly." The range of albums is more inclusive than that of the earlier set, spanning Benson's long Warner period and even reaching out to the funky-butt title track from his first GRP album, That's Right. If you combine this album and the vocal Best Of collection, you'll get an excellent summary of George Benson over a span of 20 years.

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