Benson: The Autobiography

Hachette UK
Free Sample

Over the course of his fifty-year career, George Benson has performed for hundreds of millions of fans around the world, received ten Grammy Awards, and recorded with some of the most revered musicians of his era. In 2011, he earned a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters Award. And he has finally decided to tell his story.

Benson: The Autobiography follows the musician's remarkable rise from the ghettos of Pittsburgh to the stages of Dubai, and everywhere in between. His tales of scuffling on the road with jazz legend Brother Jack McDuff, navigating his way through the recording studio with Miles Davis, and emerging as the first true (and truly successful) jazz/soul crossover artist will enthrall devotees of both music history and pop culture.

An open and truthful raconteur, Benson discusses his near-arrest for domestic abuse, the tragic illnesses that afflicted his family, the secret lives of his musical cohorts, and racism's effect on his life and art. His long-awaited book allows readers to meet one of the most beloved, prolific, and bestselling musicians of any era.
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About the author

George Benson, a ten-time Grammy Award-winner and National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master, is one of the three bestselling jazz artists of all time. He lives in Arizona with his wife, Johnnie.

www.GeorgeBenson.com

Alan Goldsher is a music and culture writer and the author of eleven books. His music journalism has appeared in Bass Player and Guitar Player, and his sportswriting has been featured in ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, NBA.com, and ChicagoBulls.com. He lives in Chicago.

www.AlanGoldsher.com
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Additional information

Publisher
Hachette UK
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Published on
26 Aug 2014
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780306822308
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / Music
Music / Genres & Styles / Jazz
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Seller
Google Commerce Ltd
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Eligible for Family Library

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On paper Steve Katz’s career rivals anyone’s except the 1960s’ and ’70’s biggest stars: the Monterey Pop Festival with the legendary Blues Project, Woodstock with Blood, Sweat & Tears, and even producing rock’s most celebrated speed addict, Lou Reed. There were world tours, and his résumé screams “Hall of Fame” — it won’t be long before BS&T are on that ballot. He has three Grammies (ten nominations), three Downbeat Reader’s Poll Awards, three gold records, one platinum record, and one quadruple platinum platter (the second Blood, Sweat & Tears album), not to mention three gold singles with BS&T. All together, he’s sold close to 29 million records. He had affairs with famous female folk singers, made love to Jim Morrison’s girlfriend Pam when Jim was drunk and abusive, partied with Elizabeth Taylor and Groucho Marx, dined with Rudolf Nureyev, conversed with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tennessee Williams, hung out with Andy Warhol, jammed with everyone from Mose Allison to Jimi Hendrix, and was told to get a haircut by both Mickey Spillane and Danny Thomas.

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No one explodes one of the longest-held misconceptions of music history better than Steve Lukather and his band Toto. The dominant pop-culture sound of the late-1970s and '80s was not in fact the smash and sneer of punk, but a slick, polished amalgam of rock and R&B that was first staked out on Boz Scaggs' Silk Degrees. That album was shaped in large part by the founding members of Toto, who were emerging as the most in-demand elite session muso-crew in LA, and further developed on the band's self-titled three-million-selling debut smash of 1978. A string of hits followed for the band going into the '80s and beyond. Running parallel to this, as stellar session players, Lukather and band-mates David Paich, Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro were also the creative linchpins on some of the most successful, influential and enduring records of the era.

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A landmark in jazz studies, Thinking in Jazz reveals as never before how musicians, both individually and collectively, learn to improvise. Chronicling leading musicians from their first encounters with jazz to the development of a unique improvisatory voice, Paul Berliner documents the lifetime of preparation that lies behind the skilled improviser's every idea.

The product of more than fifteen years of immersion in the jazz world, Thinking in Jazz combines participant observation with detailed musicological analysis, the author's experience as a jazz trumpeter, interpretations of published material by scholars and performers, and, above all, original data from interviews with more than fifty professional musicians: bassists George Duvivier and Rufus Reid; drummers Max Roach, Ronald Shannon Jackson, and Akira Tana; guitarist Emily Remler; pianists Tommy Flanagan and Barry Harris; saxophonists Lou Donaldson, Lee Konitz, and James Moody; trombonist Curtis Fuller; trumpeters Doc Cheatham, Art Farmer, Wynton Marsalis, and Red Rodney; vocalists Carmen Lundy and Vea Williams; and others. Together, the interviews provide insight into the production of jazz by great artists like Betty Carter, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, and Charlie Parker.

Thinking in Jazz overflows with musical examples from the 1920s to the present, including original transcriptions (keyed to commercial recordings) of collective improvisations by Miles Davis's and John Coltrane's groups. These transcriptions provide additional insight into the structure and creativity of jazz improvisation and represent a remarkable resource for jazz musicians as well as students and educators.

Berliner explores the alternative ways—aural, visual, kinetic, verbal, emotional, theoretical, associative—in which these performers conceptualize their music and describes the delicate interplay of soloist and ensemble in collective improvisation. Berliner's skillful integration of data concerning musical development, the rigorous practice and thought artists devote to jazz outside of performance, and the complexities of composing in the moment leads to a new understanding of jazz improvisation as a language, an aesthetic, and a tradition. This unprecedented journey to the heart of the jazz tradition will fascinate and enlighten musicians, musicologists, and jazz fans alike.
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