musicology #505

CoversWeek2 #2

(George Benson – Take 5)

Been a long time coming but after 8 months of trials and tribulations it feels like themusicologist is back in the saddle. To be honest there have been times over the past few months when I’ve asked myself whether I should continue to invest so much time and effort in the brave new world of the hyper-real as the ‘return on investment’ is almost impossible to quantify but as the months have rolled by and this new chapter in the book of life gets written I realise how essential it is, (for me at least), to have a soundtrack as well as how much the world is changing in relation to investment. As far as I can see the only life worth living is the one you want to live and not the one forced apoun us by fear, capitalism and politricks. I live and breathe music, (always have), and without it existence would be half of what it is..communication would be even more of a struggle and the continuing and ever more valuable dialogue I find myself engaging in would feel more like a monologue.

Music facilitates learning as it challenges the I to participate and question rather than just observe and obey whereas chasing financial success at the expense of all else is a fools quest..Something I have learnt along the way is that money ain’t worth the paper it’s printed on and the pursuit of it may leave you cold, bitter and empty whereas the pursuit of success as a human being opens up the possibilities to express your self and through that connect with others who are also crawling, walking or running along the road to freedom. I say fuck the money and let’s explore the love.

Today’s cut from master Guitarist George Benson, (a Cat who begun his career at the age of EIGHT playing in an unlicensed nightclub), says it all in two words.

Selected from his 1974 set ‘Bad Benson’


5 thoughts on “musicology #505

  1. “Fuck the money” is an extreme, but laudable, view, but it only works for most of us if we’ve got enough of the stuff to be comfortable.
    Interesting choice of cover since a lot of Benson’s recordings around this time were covers of one sort or another. Can I credit Ron Carter, Steve Gadd and Phil Upchurch for providing the solid skeleton for George to hang his delicious flesh onto, and especially Kenny Barron for super keyboard work.


    1. Ian,
      “Fuck the money…let’s explore the love” should work for all of us. It’s what I’m doing anyway and I certainly haven’t got enough to be comfortable. In my experience people who have always want more and then one day they invariably realise that to be financially successful has taken great sacrifice and no amount of it can buy back the investment I can’t think of one good thing about money. Of course I fully appreciate and understand the world we are living in and therefore money has to be acquired and I do and will continue to bring it in but, (like I always have) on my terms.
      George Benson..what a player and thanks for namechecking the other musicologists. Solid skeleton indeed. Phil Upchurch I am very familiar with both for his own work, (You Can’t Sit Down), and as part of Jerry Butler’s backup.


  2. George Benson, a class act. And Al Jarreau’s version ain’t bad either…. check it!

    On Take Five. Paul Desmond’s timeless composition “Take Five” was made famous by The Dave Brubeck Quartet, who first recorded it at Columbia’s 30th. Street Studios in New York City in 1959 for the group’s groundbreaking album Time Out.

    This piece became the group’s signature tune, famous for its distinctive, catchy saxophone melody and use of the unusual quintuple (5/4) time, from which the song’s name derives. While “Take Five” was not the first jazz composition to use this meter, it was the first to achieve popular recognition.

    Interesting point: Time Out was recorded in 1959 as were other pioneering jazz masterpieces i.e. Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue; Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um; and Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come.


    On “fuck the money” and/or comfort zones: I’d like to join the debate but can’t afford it.


  3. as I dont usually choose to play instrumentals,
    I’m always grateful when knowledgable bods like
    yourselves introduce them to me..this was a joy to
    listen to, I could hear each instrument and yet the
    whole thing hung together perfectly..

    my two penn’oth is that its the ‘LOVE of money’ thats the problem..and whats done “‘for the love of money'”..


  4. George Benson is indeed a sublime player and a prolific one too, but he doesn’t feature greatly in my collection so I will search out some of his earlier work.

    I fully appreciate your attitude to money, but my problem is that I am a bit older than you and ill health is going to stop me working beyond retirement age, so I’ve got to build a bit of a nest-egg. Still, as long as I’ve got my music I’ll be happy.


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