As we move along with the “Django week” look at the style of Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt and some of the guitar players who’ve been influenced by him, we come today to jazz-fusion.

English: George Benson. Escenario Puerta del Á...
English: George Benson. Escenario Puerta del Ángel (Madrid), 06/07/09. Veranos de la Villa 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And today, we have the first round of a George Benson doubleheader.

When many people usually think of George Benson, they more often think of a smooth, jazzy, soulful vocal style with some nice guitar playing thrown in.  But before Benson became so well-known for his singing in the mid-’70s, he was known as one of the best jazz guitar players around.  He played with some fusion greats, like Herbie Hancock.  His playing style is surely reminiscent of Django.

The route that George Benson’s career has taken is reminiscent of another legendary musical name — Nat King Cole, who started out better known for his jazz piano playing before getting the world to fall in love with his voice.

This time, for George, it’s his guitar.  Later on, we’ll listen to that voice.

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