George Benson – In Flight {WB}

Review by Richard S. Ginell (

In the wake of “This Masquerade,” the balance of power shifted for the first time toward George Benson’s suddenly marketable voice; four of the six tracks on In Flight are vocals. By this time, Benson was tailoring his tenor toward soulful pitch-bending à la Stevie Wonder on tunes as diverse as “Nature Boy” and “The World Is a Ghetto,” and the unison scatting with the guitar that caught fire with the public on Masquerade is now pulled out whenever possible. Benson’s backing band from Breezin’, still set in its funk mode, is intact, and Claus Ogerman again contributes gentle orchestral cushions. The two instrumentals, particularly Donny Hathaway’s “Valdez in the Country,” prove that Benson remained a brilliantly inventive melodist on guitar, in full possession of his powers. Yet there is every indication here that Benson was set upon becoming primarily a pop star.

01 – Nature Boy
02 – The Wind and I
03 – The World is a Ghetto
04 – Gonna Love You More
05 – Valdez in the Country
06 – Everything Must Change

George Benson – lead guitar & vocals
Phil Upchurch – rhythm guitar
Ronnie Foster – electric piano & mini-moog
Jorge Dalto – clavinet & acoustic piano
Stanley Banks – bass
Harvey Mason – drums
Ralph MacDonald – percussion
Claus Ogerman – arranger & conducter

Recorded and mixed at Capitol Records, Hollywood; August-November, 1976.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork


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