George Benson – In Flight
ORDER LIMITED TO ONE ITEM PER CUSTOMER
George Benson - lead guitar & vocals [click here to see more vinyl featuring George Benson]
Stanley Banks - bass
Jorge Dalto - clavinet & acoustic piano
Harvey Mason - drums
Ronnie Foster - electric piano, synthesizer (mini-moog)
Ralph MacDonald - percussion
Phil Upchurch - rhythm guitar and bass (B2-3)
1 LP, gatefold jacket
Original analog Master tape : YES
Heavy Press : 180g
Record color : black
Speed : 33 RPM
Size : 12'’
Record Press : unspecified
Label : Pure Pleasure
Original Label : Warner Brothers
Recorded & mixed August-November 1976 at Capitol Studios, Hollywood by Al Schmitt
Produced by Tommy Lipuma
Remastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Originally released in February 1977
Reissued in 2016
- Nature Boy
- The Wind and I (aka Hot Stuff)
- The World Is A Ghetto
- Gonna Love You More
- Valdez In The Country
- Everything Must Change
“If I had a soundtrack to my (rather embarrassing) 70s-era disco dancing days, then Mr Benson would feature heavily. Give Me The Night (produced by Quincy Jones), just one of several hits issue around this period, introduced this supreme jazz guitarist to the larger, more commercial stage.
And he was just that, one of the best jazz guitarists that there has ever been with an impressive flexibility and adaptability that saw him succeed in straight ahead jazz, the smooth variety of the same, R&B and more. There has rarely been a jazz guitarist who could construct and delivery a guitar solo as Benson could while his rhythm guitar play was supreme.
It’s odd that it was not so much his guitar playing that broke him onto the wide stage but his voice. The Benson voice was smooth and easy and soulful which was immensely appealing to the general public at the time.
Discovered by John Hammond and appearing on albums from luminaries such as Miles Davis, it wasn’t until he passed through the A&M and CTi labels and landed on Warner Bros that he developed his new style in full with 1976’s Breezin’.
This rather funky album with orchestral insights appeared just a year later and featured Benson singing on four of the six included tracks giving a smooth soul performance on songs such as Nature Boy (Benson’s version has a smooth, swinging groove that resembles Stevie Wonder in its style of delivery) and The World Is a Ghetto (complex guitar constructions are to the fore complete with impassioned singing and Benson’s own signature scatting). The two instrumental tracks, including Valdez in the Country, showed the Benson brilliance on guitar.
An attractive album and an important step along the way to Benson becoming a fully fledged charting pop star.” The Audiophile Man, March 2017
“In the wake of "This Masquerade," the balance of power shifted for the first time toward George Benson's suddenly marketable voice; four of the six tracks on In Flight are vocals. By this time, Benson was tailoring his tenor toward soulful pitch-bending à la Stevie Wonder on tunes as diverse as "Nature Boy" and "The World Is a Ghetto," and the unison scatting with the guitar that caught fire with the public on Masquerade is now pulled out whenever possible. Benson's backing band from Breezin', still set in its funk mode, is intact, and Claus Ogerman again contributes gentle orchestral cushions. The two instrumentals, particularly Donny Hathaway's "Valdez in the Country," prove that Benson remained a brilliantly inventive melodist on guitar, in full possession of his powers. Yet there is every indication here that Benson was set upon becoming primarily a pop star.” AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell
AllMusic : 3 / 5 ; Discogs : 4.78 / 5