Although much of
the material on this release is not
considered, at least by some avid Benson
supporters, to come from his ‘best’
period I find him an inspired musician
who always puts in a fine performance.
There are some commercial tracks such
as the theme from ‘Good King Bad’ but
the extended improvisation counterbalances
any hint of mediocrity and throughout,
besides Benson, there are some impressive
from the album of the same name opens
with a strong Flamenco influence soon
developing into Benson taking up the
main theme as the beat and mood increase.
Whilst there is an assortment of ‘non
jazz’ instrumentation there is an excellent
flute solo and Herbie Hancock provides
some solid and varied keyboard accompaniment.
‘Take Five’ may
not be ‘everybody’s cup of tea,’ bearing
in mind how hackneyed this title has
become, but this is Benson at his best
and his wonderful runs and interchanges
with pianist Kenny Baron provide some
of the highlights of the disc.
Another track that
impressed me was ‘Old Devil Moon’ a
popular standard taken here in a Latin
style. After the main theme played by
Benson and flautist Joe Farrell, Farrell
launches into a unique solo followed
by an equally progressive performance
by the leader. The whole piece bounces
on a solid background moving steadily
towards a climax and then fading on
an extended coda.
George Benson –
Jazz Moods Hot is highly recommended
– one of those albums that however many
times you play it never gets boring.