George Benson – In Flight

ARTIST: George Benson 220px-Georgebensoninflight

TITLE:  In Flight

YEAR RELEASED: 1977

CHART ACTION: #9, #2 R&B, #1 Jazz

SINGLES: Nature Boy (#26 UK), Everything Must Change (#106 US, #34 US R&B), Gonna Love you More (#71 US, #41 US R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The World Is a Ghetto

LINEUP: George Benson, Phil Upchurch, Ronnie Foster, Jorge Dalton, Stanley Banks, Harvey Mason, Ralph MacDonald

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: More smooth, smooth jazz, so smooth that there’s nothing challenging or adventurous about this, unless you count Benson scatting along with his guitar solos.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Smooth strings, smooth 70’s arrangements, smooth jazz guitar, smooth crooning. Man, this is one record that has all of the grit and grime of jazz and rock sandblasted away.

While that means it’s tasteful, for sure, it’s not anything that excites you, or even wakes you from a stupor. It’s the music they play when you turn to a cable channel that’s not broadcasting at the current time (you know, the alternate channels they have for some sporting events…).

Benson is a talented guitarist. The trick of scatting along with a solo doesn’t really work in the studio, because, he may have cut the vocal track later, though. Just me, I’d rather have seen this live, with an umbrella drink, in a singles bar like the Legal Beagle.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This record was platinum selling. Too many lounge lizards during the 70’s, no doubt.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: YES! It has a disco version of a song and a 45 edit of another.

GRADE: C-: I appreciate the talent. I can’t deal with the vanilla nature of the music. EXILED.

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