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George Benson

When: Sun., March 25 2012

GEORGE BENSON His sweetly fluid guitar ranges from cool and creamy soul-jazz to fractured hard-bop. But it’s George Benson’s silky smooth vocals — think Stevie Wonder minus the underpinning angst and an octave or two — that nearly derailed Benson’s career. Singing, particularly scatting to a single string solo, on 1976’s “This Masquerade” netted Benson the biggest hit of his career. By the mid-’80s, attempts to duplicate this commercial fluke had mired him in the dire Sargasso Sea of smooth jazz. Fortunately, Benson’s inner jazz cat re-emerged, bringing his guitar off the back burner without displacing his vocals. A true rarity, George Benson is a slickly commercial elder statesman who can still swing like a motherfucker. (Pat Moran)

Price: $69.50 - $99.50

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