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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



Jazz Moods – Hot


COL 516421-2





White Rabbit


California Dreamin’


Body Talk


Take The ‘A’ Train


Take Five


So What


Old Devil Moon




Theme From Good King Bad


Hold On I’m Coming

Although much of the material on this release is not considered, at least by some avid Benson supporters, to come from his ‘best’ period I find him an inspired musician who always puts in a fine performance. There are some commercial tracks such as the theme from ‘Good King Bad’ but the extended improvisation counterbalances any hint of mediocrity and throughout, besides Benson, there are some impressive soloists.

‘White Rabbit’ from the album of the same name opens with a strong Flamenco influence soon developing into Benson taking up the main theme as the beat and mood increase. Whilst there is an assortment of ‘non jazz’ instrumentation there is an excellent flute solo and Herbie Hancock provides some solid and varied keyboard accompaniment.

‘Take Five’ may not be ‘everybody’s cup of tea,’ bearing in mind how hackneyed this title has become, but this is Benson at his best and his wonderful runs and interchanges with pianist Kenny Baron provide some of the highlights of the disc.

Another track that impressed me was ‘Old Devil Moon’ a popular standard taken here in a Latin style. After the main theme played by Benson and flautist Joe Farrell, Farrell launches into a unique solo followed by an equally progressive performance by the leader. The whole piece bounces on a solid background moving steadily towards a climax and then fading on an extended coda.

George Benson – Jazz Moods Hot is highly recommended – one of those albums that however many times you play it never gets boring.

Jack Ashby

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