Big Boss Band

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Big Boss Band
Geroge Benson Big Boss Band cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released1990 (1990)
RecordedClinton Recording Studio and The Power Station, New York City; CTS Studios Ltd., Wembley, England (track 7)
GenreJazz
Length41:48
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerGeorge Benson for Broadway Productions, Al Schmitt (co-producer on track 7)
George Benson chronology
Tenderly
(1989)
Big Boss Band
(1990)
Love Remembers
(1993)
Singles from Big Boss Band
  1. "Baby Workout"
    Released: 1990

Big Boss Band is the 1990 studio album of George Benson on Warner Bros. featuring the Count Basie Orchestra. This is Benson's second consecutive album which returns to his jazz roots after his successful pop career in the 1980s, and also his debut as sole producer of an album.[1] The genre is mainly big band swing with some Michel Legrand and R&B thrown in.

Concept[edit]

In his liner notes, Benson writes that in 1983 he made a promise to Count Basie "to do his (Basie's) music justice" on an album such as Big Boss Band. He continues: "The spirit of the Basie Legacy permeated these sessions as I approached each one (song) in the way I believed the Count would have wanted." He thanks to Frank Foster III for his contribution and notes that he "was Basie's only choice" to arrange this album.[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]

The album was criticized by jazz writers for not being jazzy enough, for the vocal performance and for not being able to grab the opportunity of making a jazz classic.[3][4]

Awards[edit]

Frank Foster received Grammy Award for his arrangement of George Benson’s composition “Basie’s Bag” (Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band, 1990).[5]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Without a Song"Vincent Youmans, Edward Eliscu, William Rose4:09
2."Ready Now That You Are"Frank Foster5:50
3."How Do You Keep the Music Playing?"Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Michel Legrand5:00
4."On Green Dolphin Street"Bronislau Kaper, Ned Washington4:09
5."Baby Workout"Jackie Wilson, Alonzo Tucker3:52
6."I Only Have Eyes for You"Harry Warren, Al Dubin2:52
7."Portrait of Jennie"J. Russel Robinson, Gordon Budge4:23
8."Walkin' My Baby Back Home"Fred Ahlert, Roy Turk3:01
9."Skylark"Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael5:06
10."Basie's Bag"George Benson2:59

Personnel[6][edit]

Musicians:

  • George Benson – guitar, vocals (1, 3-9)

Count Basie Orchestra (1-4, 6, 8, 9, 10):

  • Carl "Ace" Carter – acoustic piano
  • Charlton Johnson – guitar
  • Cleveland Eaton – bass
  • Duffy Jackson – drums
  • David Glasser – alto saxophone, alto sax solo (2)
  • Danny Turner – alto saxophone
  • Johnny Williams – baritone saxophone
  • Frank Foster III – arrangements (1-5, 8, 9, 10), tenor saxophone, tenor sax solo (2)
  • Kenneth Hing – tenor saxophone
  • Doug Miller – tenor saxophone
  • Clarence Banks – trombone
  • Melvin Wanzo – trombone
  • Tim Williams – trombone
  • Bill Hughes – bass trombone
  • George Cohn – trumpet
  • Bob Ojeda – trumpet, backup trumpet solo (2), arrangements (6)
  • Byron Stripling – trumpet, backup trumpet solo (4)
  • Mike Williams – trumpet

Additional Musicians:

New York Horns (5):

Robert Farnon Orchestra (7):

Production:

  • George Benson – producer, liner notes
  • Al Schmitt – co-producer (Track 7), recording, mixing
  • Russ Defilippis – production assistant for Broadway Productions.
  • Peter Darmi – recording
  • Elliot Scheiner – recording
  • Dave Russell – additional recording
  • Jeff Toone – additional recording
  • Ed Rak – mixing
  • Greg Calbi – mastering at Sterling Sound (New York, NY).
  • Emile Charlap – musical contractor
  • Aaron Woodward – musical contractor
  • Lucrecia Snead – project administrator
  • Michon C. Stanco – album package coordinator
  • Mary Ann Dibs – art direction
  • Lorna Stovall – design
  • Robert Hakalski – photography
  • Robin Lynch – grooming
  • Alexander White – styling
  • Ken Fritz Management, L.A. – direction

Charts[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
position
US Top Contemporary Jazz Albums[7] 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d as in Benson's personal liner notes
  2. ^ "Big Boss Band - George Benson - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  3. ^ "JAZZ / ALBUM REVIEWS : Benson, Mathis Pay Tribute to Count Basie, Ellington". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Big Boss Band (George Benson)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Past Winners Search". The GRAMMYs. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  6. ^ as on album cover
  7. ^ Benson, George. Billboard Albums at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-14.