Title: Weekend In London
Artist: George Benson
Format: CD, LP
Release Date: November 13, 2020
For the first time in 30 years, 10-time Grammy winning guitarist and vocalist George Benson has released a live recording highlighting his favorite hits and improvisational skills. Weekend In London, which harkens back to his groundbreaking 1978 Weekend in LA, pays homage to many of the guitarist’s career peaks that effortlessly fused jazz, R&B and pop. Although Benson has played at some of the biggest venues in the world during his acclaimed six-decade career, this newest release features his performance at London’s legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, an intimate 250-seat venue with exceptional acoustics that has been hosting the world’s most influential jazz musicians since 1959.
Weekend In London brings Benson full circle nearly 50 years after he first played at the fabled Soho club. The album includes fresh takes on classic covers like Dave Bartholomew’s “I Hear You Knocking” and Donny Hathaway’s “The Ghetto.” Also featured are performances of some of Benson’s career-making hits, including the disco-flavored “Give Me The Night” by Rod Temperton, and well-loved favorites like “Turn Your Love Around” and “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You.” Revisiting some of his own hits, Benson offers new renditions of “Affirmation,” included on his 1976 breakout album Breezin’, and “In Your Eyes,” from his 1983 album of the same title. For jazz and R&B fans, Weekend In London is sure to satisfy with its heavy focus on contemporary jazz fusion by one of the originators of the genre.
Reviewed by Chloe McCormick