Living in High Definition
Label: Concord Records
George Benson returns to the laid-back and likable mix of smooth jazz and soul that first made him a crossover pop star. Being laid-back isn't the same as being lazy, though, and Benson excels at creamy soul on "Come in From the Cold," "Rainy Night in Georgia" and Bill Withers' "A Telephone Call Away." Songs and Stories is of course eminently tasteful. Yet this should be only one of Benson many facets; while so many jazz musicians need to restrain themselves, the guitarist now needs to really cut loose in the studio the way he does in concert and in late-night jam sessions.