THE NEW BOSS GUITAR OF GEORGE BENSON WITH THE BROTHER JACK MCDUFF QUARTET
Understanding why guitarist George Benson is often called Bad Benson requires a simple exercise going play any song with him on it.
Bad Benson — who also released a studio album with that moniker in 1974 — made his recording debut as a leader nearly 52 years ago with the New Boss Guitar album. The 21-year old legend in the making had not yet realized the height of his powers, but you’ll hear enough sublime funkiness and trademark chord progressions which seem to appear out of nowhere to make this release a keeper.
Benson recorded about a half dozen albums with organist Jack McDuff prior to Boss Guitar and the performance chemistry between these two flow seamlessly throughout the album — which also features Ronnie Boykins on bass, Red Holloway on tenor sax and Montego Joe on drums.
The album grooves and soothes — from the 12-bar steppin’ good times of “The Sweet Alice Blues,” to the delicate overtures of “Easy Living.” I’m waiting for an adventurous DJ to play the funky “Shadow Dancers” some evening …
The self-titled debut album from this São Paulo dectet is many things — Southeast Asian tropical Funk; Afrobeat; Dance Lounge; cinematic Blaxploitation Groove; Southwest American Rock; horn-driven Soul; full-bodied Ska; Cosmic Soul Jazz — plus all the elements come together without ever sounding lumpy. Be prepared to dance and reach for the cosmos.
The news keeps getting better for Nomade Orquestra: the venerable Far Out Recordings label has recently agreed to distribute the album, thus giving the band a potentially huge audience footprint …