Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

George Benson & Earl Klugh - Collaboration (1987)

An okay instrumental smooth jazz album with two guitarists doing the best they can with relatively weak material. These songs almost crossover from smooth jazz to instrumental pop (although some would argue there's not much difference between the two genres to begin with).  The arrangements are full of of synth pads and drum programming, but that's fairly characteristic of the time.  I've always enjoyed Klugh's brand of music and he's definitely a solid player, but I've never really thought of him as being particularly innovative.  Klugh has never stretched out much and, as such, he's absolutely blown away here by Benson's fluid technique and amazing solo skills.  Still, the electric and acoustic play well off each other, which puts this album in the "good, but not great" category.   The total is definitely less than the sum of its parts, which makes you wonder what might have been.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #59
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #28 

Tracks:  Like I said, the material isn't the best, but most of it is good enough for background music.  The best track is Jamaica; I occasionally skip the title track and an ill-advised take on the love theme from the 1968 movie Romeo & Juliet.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  I'm surprised I didn't pick this one up back in '87, but I didn't hear it until I found a a used copy back in 2005.  The Romeo & Juliet track takes me back to my freshman year in high school in which we not only had to read the Shakespeare play, but we traveled to Houston to catch a live production AND had to watch the 1968 film.  And they wonder why kids don't get into Shakespeare much.

Previously revisited for the blog:
George Benson
Givin' It Up (2006)
Best Of: The Instrumentals (1997)
20/20 (1985)
The George Benson Collection (1981) 
The Other Side of Abbey Road (1970)

Earl Klugh
Midnight in San Juan (1991)
Volume One (1991)
Soda Fountain Shuffle (1985)
Two of a Kind (1982)
Late Night Guitar (1980)

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