Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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George Benson

  • Breezin' [Warner Bros., 1976] C
  • In Flight [Warner Bros., 1977] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Breezin' [Warner Bros., 1976]
Just in case you're beguiled by his Stevie Wonder imitation (I prefer Carl Carlton's, Chaka Khan's, even Buddy Miles's) on "Masquerade" (I prefer Helen Reddy's, Aretha Franklin's, even Leon Russell's), be hereby informed that Benson is not primarily a singer, but rather a jazz guitarist of the taste variety. And that most of what he spices up here is mush. C

In Flight [Warner Bros., 1977]
Upon reflection, it seems to me that what Benson does these days isn't a sellout but an apotheosis--this kind of palaver has been the soul of jazz guitar since the '50s. Turn those amps up! Let's hear some distortion! C+