George Benson

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6/8/2004
George Benson's Irreplaceable Album Set for June 8 Release
NEW YORK, NY --- 05/18/2004 -- On June 8, 2004, GRP Records will release Irreplaceable, a soulful new recording from George Benson. In the contemporary pop universe George Benson's unique eight GRAMMY®-clocking, multi-platinum-rocking success as both an R&B superstar and jazz guitar living legend make him a planet unto himself. On Irreplaceable, he puts both his guitar and his voice up front to create a masterful recording, and the contribution is, once again, memorable and moving.

Ten new songs co-written, "sweetened" (guitars-keyboards-bass-strings) and produced by Joshua P. Thompson, Irreplaceable is a lushly layered showcase for Benson's new millennium sound: smoovey R&B on the jazzy hip hop groove tip. Astutely, Benson and Thompson have selected some of the best singers (Joe, Lisa Fisher, Chyna, Latrelle) and players (Verve bass star Richard Bona, guitarist/keyboardist Joe Thomas, harmonica ace Gregoire Maret, beat programmer Ali Jackson) in contemporary jazz, R&B, hip hop and pop music. Irreplaceable opens with Benson's sublime R&B vocal duet with Chyna on the title cut. From there he takes us on a musical journey of spirit, love and emotions. Losing a father or any loved one is captured poignantly in "Cell Phone," followed by the (Joshua Thompson remix) of the urgently romantic "Black Rose." A tribute to R&B legend Luther Vandross is paid respectfully with an instrumental version of Vandross' "Take You Out." "Strings of Love" a tender flamenco-flavored ballad followed by the gentle calls of, "Missing You." "Sixplay." A languidly sensual conversation between Benson and his six-string, "Sixplay" sets an intimate tone that characterizes this release. "Softly as the Morning Sunrise" takes the listener to that special "Benson place" of spirit, depth and imagination. "Stairway To Love" is classic pop tune spiced with Benson's signature guitar. "Southwest Sunrise" closes this unparalleled set of love tunes on an upbeat note. Benson's attraction to the full spectrum of musical colors is a well-documented success story.

Born in Pittsburgh, he was only eight years old when he first stepped on a stage at a local nightclub; his love for music in all its variety was already apparent and, as a budding jazz guitarist, he soaked up the influences of Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery. In 1962, Hammond B-3 organ master Brother Jack McDuff gave Benson his first big time gig. He was 19-years old. Two years later, Prestige Records released the young phenom's solo debut, The New Boss Guitar of George Benson. In 1967 the multi-platinum album Breezin' made George Benson a bona fide R&B pop superstar when it won GRAMMY® Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Record of the Year. Emphasizing his vocal talents alongside his guitar, Benson and Tommy LiPuma produced a string of R&B and pop hits in the '70s and '80s: "The Greatest Love of All," "On Broadway," "Give Me The Night," "Turn Your Love Around," and "Inside Love," among others.

In the '90s, he once again joined forces with LiPuma, now at GRP Records, to release That's Right (1996), Standing Together (1998) and Absolute Benson (2000). Irreplaceable is a surely fitting title for Benson's new CD; no one else delivers such a soulful sound and, once again, he proves it's true. Irreplaceable [B0000599-02] available on CD June 8, 2004. 
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