by Dr. Matthew Warnock. Forty-five years after releasing his debut album The New Boss Guitar, jazz guitarist George Benson is still going strong. With the upcoming August 25, 2009, release date set for his latest studio album Songs And Stories, the ten-time Grammy winner pays tribute to some of his favorite songwriters and composers. Featuring an all-star line up that includes bassist Marcus Miller, guitarists Lee Ritenour and Toninho Horta, saxophonists Tom Scott and Gerald Albright, among others, Benson and company come together to produce an album that is not only a tribute to great songwriters, it is also a reflection of more than four decades of experience by one of jazz’s greatest instrumentalists and vocalists. The tracks on the album are a mixture of re-interpretations of classic tunes, such as Christopher Cross’ “Sailing” and James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me be Lonely Tonight,” alongside new songs written by some of the music industry’s greatest songsmiths. The track “Family Reunion” was penned by Ron Templeton, who wrote Benson’s worldwide hit song “Give Me the Night” from the guitarist’s 1976 smash hit album Breezin’. Songwriter Bill Withers came out of retirement to write the track “A Telephone Call Away,” which is one of the album’s finest lyrical and instrumental moments. Other songwriters who made contributions to Songs and Stories include Smokey Robinson, Lamont Dozier, Donny Hathaway and several others.
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