Extrait de l'album
GIVE ME THE NIGHT.
"b. 22 March 1943, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
USA. This guitarist and singer successfully planted his
feet in both the modern jazz and easy-listening pop camps
in the mid-70s when jazz-pop as well as jazz-rock became
a most lucrative proposition. Before a move to New York
in 1963, he had played in various R&B outfits local to Pittsburgh,
and recorded a single, 'It Should Have Been Me', in 1954.
By 1965, Benson was an established jazz guitarist, having
worked with Brother Jack McDuff, Herbie Hancock - and, crucially,
Wes Montgomery, whose repertoire was drawn largely from
pop, light classical and other non-jazz sources. When Montgomery
died in 1969, critics predicted that Benson - contracted
to Columbia Records in 1966 - would be his stylistic successor.
Further testament to Benson's prestige was the presence
of Hancock, Earl Klugh, Miles Davis, Joe Farrell and other
jazz musicians on his early albums. Four of these were produced
by Creed Taylor, who signed Benson to his own CTI label
in 1971. Benson was impressing audiences in concert with
extrapolations of songs such as 'California Dreamin'', 'Come
Together' and, digging deeper into mainstream pop, 'Cry
Me A River' and 'Unchained Melody'. From Beyond The Blue
Horizon, an arrangement of Jefferson Airplane 's 'White
Rabbit' was a turntable hit, and chart success seemed inevitable
- especially as he was now recording a majority of vocal
items. After Bad Benson reached the US album lists and,
via disco floors, the title song of Supership cracked European
charts, he was well placed to negotiate a favourable contract
with Warner Brothers Records, who immediately reaped a Grammy-winning
harvest with 1976's Breezin' (and its memorable 'This Masquerade').
As a result, companies with rights to the prolific Benson's
earlier product cashed in, with reissues such as The Other
Side Of Abbey Road, a track-for-track interpretation of
the entire Beatles album. Profit from film themes such as
'The Greatest Love Of All' (from the Muhammed Ali biopic
The Greatest ), the million-selling Give Me The Night and
the television-advertised The Love Songs have allowed him
to indulge artistic whims, including a nod to his jazz roots
via 1987's excellent Collaboration with Earl Klugh, and
a more commercial merger with Aretha Franklin on 'Love All
The Hurt Away'. Moreover, a fondness for pop standards has
also proved marketable, epitomized by revivals of 'On Broadway'
- a US Top 10 single from 1978's Weekend In LA - and Bobby
Darin 's 'Beyond The Sea (La Mer)'. Like Darin, Benson also
found success with Nat 'King' Cole 's 'Nature Boy' (a single
from In Flight ) - and a lesser hit with Cole's 'Tenderly'
in 1989, another balance of sophistication, hard-bought
professionalism and intelligent response to chart climate.
In 1990 he staged a full-length collaboration with the Count
Basie Orchestra, accompanied by a sell-out UK tour. Benson
is one of a handful of artists who have achieved major critical
and commercial success in different genres - soul, jazz
and pop, and this pedigree makes him one of the most respected
performers of the past 30 years. "