[JPL] George Benson on jazz

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Thu Sep 11 22:37:09 EDT 2008

*George Benson on jazz*


At this moment when political conflict is heating up the whole town, 
thanks must go out to the organiser who managed to fly the talented 
guitarist George Benson across the globe to cool us down with his husky 
voice and famed guitar gusto. Perfect timing indeed!

Good news for true jazz and soul lovers: Benson will not perform for 
Bangkok audiences on his own but will share the stage tonight at Queen 
Sirikit National Convention Centre with American jazz vocalist Al Jarreau.

To call this concert a legendary event is no exaggeration. While Benson 
has been awarded 10 Grammy awards, Jarreau already has seven. He was 
acclaimed as the only vocalist in history to win in three separate 
categories - jazz, pop and R&B. Benson and Jarreau collaborated on the 
album Givin' It Up in 2006.

Expect a great "jazzmospheric" night from these two Grammy alumni. Don't 
miss "George Benson, Al Jarreau Live in Bangkok" tonight. But before 
flaunting his signature scat vocals, or ad libs, Benson spares some time 
to have a chit-chat with his fans.

So, tell us...

George Benson (left) and Al Jarreau (right).

...how you feel about Thailand and Thai fans?

This is not my first time in Thailand. I've always enjoyed coming here. 
I think people in Thailand are very knowledgeable. They know what it is 
they like. If you do what they like, they will come out and check you 
out. And that's very important.

...what project you have been working on recently?

I'm always involved with a new project and we're now putting on one. My 
latest album was Givin' It Up, which was released in 2006. Now we are 
looking for producers and the best songwriters, which is not hard to 
find because we have many in the USA right now. We're going to start 
recording this fall and winter. Hopefully we could finish by spring. So 
stay tuned!

...as a legend in jazz music, who was your inspiration?

The first music I listened to was a band by Benny Goodman with a great 
swing and bebop jazz guitarist, Charlie Christian, who unfortunately 
died very young - at the age of 25. When he was 24, he was the greatest 
guitar player in the world.

He could just come out and swing anybody. So my father fed me that music 
day in and day out. As a singer, I love Nat King Cole. He's my favourite 
singer in the world and always has been.

...in your opinion, who is the rising star of the jazz scene?

They are some great players, up-and-coming. One is Jamie Cullum, who 
plays great piano and sings very well. Diana Krall is also doing a very 
good job. They are some wonderful guitarists in the American jazz scene. 
So there's no suffering in today's jazz world right now.

They have an abundant number of great players. And by this I mean from 
all over the planet. I think in the next few years you will really hear 
some great tunes.

...among your many worldwide hits, which one is your favourite and why?

It's very difficult for me to pick the favourite but there are songs I 
enjoy playing, for example, Give Me the Night, Nothing's Gonna Change My 
Love for You and In Your Eyes.

...how you feel about sharing a stage with Al Jarreau? And next time, if 
you could choose, who would you like to perform with?

It's hard to beat Al Jarreau. He's the kind of guy who is afraid of 
nothing, just like me. He would jump on a song and play it like he's 
been playing for a thousand years and it would sound different every 
time. This is my favourite kind of artist that I enjoy playing with. We 
have such a good time together. There are also a few artists that I'd 
like to work with. But right now, Al Jarreau is the man!

...for new fans, what makes George Benson's music stand out from rest?

I think it is the surprises that happen during my performances. I am a 
guy who gets bored of hearing myself playing. So I try to look for 
something that sparks new interest in my material and a lot of times I 
could be able to come up with something. I stay on top of my guitar, to 
always bring new and fresh ideas. And that's what I've always spent my 
time doing.

'George Benson, Al Jarreau Live in Bangkok' will be held tonight at 
Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre. Tickets are 5,000, 3,500, 
2,000 and 1,000 baht, available at all Thai Ticket Major outlets or 
visit http://www.thaiticketmajor.com/. For more information, call 


Dr. Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
24270 Eastwood
Oak Park, MI  48237
(248) 542-7888
SKYPE:  drjazz99

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