George Benson is an early smooth jazz artist. He got his start playing soul jazz with Jack McDuff and led his own band in the early ’70’s. His 1976 debut album on Warner Brothers Records, Breezin’, could be considered one of the first albums of the genre. It topped the Pop, Jazz and R&B charts, went triple platinum (3 million copies sold) and won the 1977 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and was nominated for Album of the Year (which was won by Stevie Wonder for Songs In The Key Of Life, which, coincidentally, George played on).
Two singles came from the album. The first is the title track, which has become a smooth jazz standard.
The second is his cover of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade.” It was a Top 10 hit on the Pop and R&B charts in 1976 and won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1977.
George Benson, your Two for Tuesday, October 2, 2018.