Pat Martino 1, George Benson 0

“I may not know much about art, but I know what I like…” – The Pope, in a Monty Python sketch.

Sorry, but I don’t ‘dig’ George Benson. Lord knows I tried – I shelled out for a double CD collection of his (complete with lovely pose photos of him with his lovely plastic surgeried nose and lightened skin) that contains a wide selection of his hits and classics. Although I think his scat singing along with his jazz soloing is very clever, overall I find his stuff truly, truly banal and I simply cannot stand his vocal histrionics and breathy ‘oooh ahh ooh ooooohhhh’ type singing. Horrid. Sorry. Still, like I say, I may not know much about art, but I know enough to appreciate that he’s a monstrously talented guitar player with immense chops and deep knowledge – I must seek more advice on his older more hardcore stuff before he went mainstream.

I love Pat Martino though. I have East! and El Hombre and while I’m still coming to terms with being all into this Jazz lark (I hide my Jazz CDs at home inside old Heavy Metal disc covers) I’m slowly coming round to the finer points of what make it good. Pat is one of those things. Love his sound, love the moody compositions, love the extended solos and all the advanced harmonics thingamajigs going on throughout his music.



7 Responses to “Pat Martino 1, George Benson 0”

  1. ronclegg Says:

    Totally agree….! I’ve tried to get into Benson too. His technique and chops re awesome but the music just doesn’t do anything for me. He was great back in the days of Benson Burner and the earlier albums but the newer stuff seems so contrived and calculated for the mass market. Vegas is a weird place to play jazz guitar.. I just don’t get it. He didn’t need to take that road because players that remain true to their art are usually rewarded in the end… like Pat Martino. Take Kenny Burrell for instance.
    Everything worked out for him.

    Nice blog by the way…!


  2. I was looking for blogs that spoke with some authority about jazz and I stumbled across yours. Needless to say, I’ll be back.

    Oh, and I’m glad that at last someone else is honest enough to say Benson isn’t well … all that.

  3. Cheers Ron – welcome and glad you like it. 🙂

    I will look out for Benson Burner!

  4. Welcome UI – I hope to keep the blog as up to date as possible with all the info that my teacher imparts.


  5. I am with Ron on the “benson burner” cd and another one with the same band is “It’s Uptown”, only one or two vocal tracks on each and the guitar stuff is really solid.


  6. JazzandZen Says:

    Both Benson and Martino are excellent players. But George Benson gets my vote.
    The man is simply amazing. Martino is phenomenal, but Benson has not only Jazz chops, but also scat singing and his vocals. But one a guitar chops basis, I’d say that Benson still prevails.

  7. yo friends dont miss “the cookbook” with its first track “the cooker” he is the truly cooker of the best bebop solos i ever heard that album blew my face. probably by the time he went famous at the jazz scene the money wasnt that much yet, sowhy dont try singing.. tham that did the job, and he really deservs it. he is a truly singer master laso!

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