everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!
For George Benson’s second CTI project, producer Creed Taylor and arranger Don Sebesky successfully place the guitarist in a Spanish-flavored setting full of flamenco flourishes, brass fanfares, moody woodwinds and such. The idea works best on “California Dreamin'” (whose chords are based on Andalusian harmonies), where, driven by Jay Berliner’s exciting Spanish rhythm guitar, Benson comes through with some terrifically inspired playing. On “El Mar,” Berliner is replaced by Benson’s protégé Earl Klugh (then only 17) in an inauspicious — though at the time, widely-heralded — recorded debut. The title track is another winner, marred only by the out-of-tune brasses at the close, and in a good example of the CTI classical/jazz formula at work, Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Little Train of the Caipira” is given an attractive early-’70s facelift. Herbie Hancock gets plenty of nimble solo space on Rhodes electric piano, Airto Moreira contributes percussion and atmospheric wordless vocals, and Ron Carter and Billy Cobham complete the high-energy rhythm section. In this prime sample of the CTI idiom, everyone wins. (allmusic)
Personnel: George Benson (guitar); Earl Klugh, Jay Berliner (acoustic guitar); Ron Carter (bass); Jane Taylor (bassoon); Romeo Penque (oboe, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet); George Marge (flute, clarinet, oboe, english horn); Phil Bodner (flute, oboe, english horn); Hubert Laws (flute); Gloria Agostini (harp); Wayne Andre (trombone, horn); Alan Rubin, John Frosk (trumept, flugelhorn); Airto Moreira (percussions, vocals); Phil Kraus (vibraphone, percussions); Herbie Hancock (electric piano); Bill Cobham (drums).
Rappamelo’s favorite track: