11/22/03

George Benson Readies New Disc

Famed smooth jazz guitarist/singer and eight-time Grammy winner George Benson will release his latest album, the soulful Irreplaceable for GRP, on February 10, 2004.

The record, which is essentially a collaborative effort between Benson and the session’s producer Joshua P. Thompson, features 10 new songs of Benson’s trademark smoove groove—a mix of R&B, jazz and hip-hop styles. Thompson, known for his work with contemporary R&B singers like Joe and Alicia Keys, as well as the frightening boy-band O-Town, brings a lush and layered approach to each of the Irreplaceable’s 10 songs, tricking each out with programmed drums—there are no drummers on the album—and using players like Gregoire Maret (on harmonica) and Melvin Davis (on the Hammond B3) to create varied textures. Bassist Richard Bona, who’s spent time with Joe Zawinul, Regina Carter and Bob James, shows up on a number of Irreplaceable’s tracks, sometimes contributing percussion parts and vocals. And, as always, Benson offers his array of quiet licks and sensual melodies.

Irreplaceable track list:

1. Six Play
2.
Whole Man
3.
Irreplaceable
4.
Loving Is Better Than Leaving
5.
Strings of Love
6.
Cell Phone
7.
Black Rose
8.
Stairway To Love
9.
Reason For Breathing
10.
Missing You

If you want to see and hear George Benson live, you may have to wait until spring of next year, and maybe longer depending on where you live and how far you’re willing to drive. He may add a few shows in between now and these dates, but here’s what we know about:

3/11/04 • Newark, NJ • New Jersey Performing Arts Center

3/13/04 • Reading, PA • Sovereign Performing Arts Center

4/18/04 • Sarasota, FL • Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

For more information on George Benson visit www.georgebenson.com.

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