Ten-Time Grammy Award-Winning George Benson To Release New Album

Ten-Time Grammy Award-Winning George Benson To Release New Album

Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole

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Last Edited by: Chris MUG5 Maguire May 24th, 2013.

On June 10th 2013, the legendary George Benson, who turned 70 earlier this year, releases one of the most meaningful albums of his career - Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. Featuring heartfelt renditions of some of Cole’s greatest songs, the album sees Benson backed by the 42-piece Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra and is complemented by duets with Tony Award winner Idina Menzel and rising star Judith Hill, and a special collaboration with multi-Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Says George Benson:
“I felt every moment of it. You can’t put together a record like this without putting your heart into it. I got that from Nat King Cole. He put his heart into everything he did.”

The careers of Benson and Cole share a similar arc, both establishing themselves first as highly respected instrumentalists before skyrocketing to crossover success once they began sharing their unforgettable voices with the world. Better known as a jazz pianist first, Nat King Cole’s major breakthrough came in 1943 when he added his melting baritone voice to Straighten Up and Fly Right, coincidentally the same year of George Benson’s birth. Benson, who had a well-established career as one of the world’s top jazz guitarists, made his major break in the pop world by singing This Masquerade and subsequently had the first jazz album to go platinum with Breezin’.

A dream project for Benson, this album is a love letter to Cole and a tribute in gratitude for his deep musical inspiration. It also demonstrates how uniquely suited Benson is to recreate and interpret these timeless treasures. Highlights on the album include an adaptation of Nelson Riddle’s arrangement of Just One of Those Things, with a signature Benson vocal/guitar scat solo, and Benson’s reading of the original chart of Nature Boy, which he previously interpreted and made a pop hit in the late ‘70s. The album also contains stunning duets with Idina Menzel on When I Fall In Love, and Judith Hill on Too Young, as well as the incomparable trumpet work of Wynton Marsalis on a fresh new arrangement of Unforgettable.

George Benson will be embarking on a world tour in 2013.

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