George Benson

Tell It Like It Is

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Trying to shake things up, producer Creed Taylor brought in arranger Marty Sheller from Mongo Santamaria's Afro-Cuban band, reduced the sizes of the servings (no track is longer than 3:45), cranked up the decibels to a raucous level, and presented Benson in what he hoped would be a radio-friendly setting. The wonder is that Benson manages to transcend the blasting Latin-percussion-spiced production, the tight time limits, and all with often brilliantly tasty guitar fills and brief solos in many styles and three reverb-heavy vocals. The most attractive - and most frustrating - track is Eumir Deodato's lovely "Jackie, All;" George states the tune twice and just as he starts a beautiful solo, the faders go down at the 2:15 mark! Damn. Worth hearing despite the long production knives.

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