GEORGE BENSON The George Benson Cookbook

Album · 1966 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
js
No doubt, if George Benson isn’t the best guitarist in the world of jazz, he’s probably in the top five at least. The problem though, is finding an album where he really rips on the six string, as opposed to crooning love songs or some other commercial endeavor. Generally the early part of Benson’s career has his best recorded output, which is true with this early release, “The George Benson Cookbook”. Recorded when Benson was still fairly new to the scene, he does not hold back on this one and comes out with both guns blazing on the first cut. Album opener, “The Cooker”, is high speed hard bop with plenty of impossible lightning fast runs from Benson, as well as some very heated baritone work from Ronnie Culper. In fact, Ronnie shines all through this album, and his choice of bari sax gives him a unique voice. Side one continues with more swingin bluesy bop, some groovy bossa and Benson’s one vocal number, a very spirited take on “All of Me”. This song can be wore out, but George lifts it up with his energetic vocals. This upbeat version is a good example of how this entire album has the warm energy and spontaneous feel of a live club date.

Side two continues with more hard bop and bluesy RnB with “Return of the Prodigal Son” being a stand out with its cool soul jazz riffs suitable for a 60s spy movie or liquor commercial. There are no bad songs on this entire album and all the soloists really cook. Along with Culper and Benson, you get Lonnie Smith on the B3, Bennie Green on the T-bone, and a few other guests on horns. This album is highly recommended for fans of George Benson, great guitar playing in general and 60s hard bop that borders on soul jazz. Over the years, this sort of blues/jazz style became a bit generic, but not “Cookbook“, it has more energy than most.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
darkshade wrote:
1 year ago
I listened to this album yesterday. Such a fun album!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Post Bop
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
In a Silent Way Classic Fusion
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
'Out to Lunch!' Avant-Garde Jazz
ERIC DOLPHY
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Breathing In Unison Post-Fusion Contemporary
CLAUDIO FILIPPINI
Buy this album from MMA partners
Stories from the Years of Living Passionately Post-Fusion Contemporary
NOSHIR MODY
Buy this album from MMA partners
Feathery Post Bop
LENA BLOCH
Buy this album from MMA partners
Rempis - Johnston - Ochs: Spectral Avant-Garde Jazz
DAVE REMPIS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Ride Hard Bop
TOM TALLITSCH
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Free Jazz MP3 download/stream

New Jazz Online Videos

BREATHING IN UNISON - Claudio Filippini Trio
CLAUDIO FILIPPINI
js· 20 hours ago
???? with Mal Waldron - I Should Care
KAZUTOKI UMEZU
snobb· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Share this site
Follow us