Rest_In_Peace_Plus's current selection is:
Ella Fitzgerald Tribute
by George Benson, saxophone, with Sheila Landis, Rick Matle & Pete Siers
George 'Sax' Benson (1929 to 2019) was an American 'jazz' saxophonist and teacher. George Franklin Benson Junior was born on February 26th 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He first began his musical career at the age of eleven, playing the saxophone in both the junior and senior high school bands (he also learned to play clarinet and bassoon in those line-ups). His first professional job came at the age of sixteen, with a big band at the Granada Theater - however, due to his young age his father had to sign him into the musicians' union so he could take part. Benson played various clubs around Detroit and Ohio until he was drafted into the US Army, and got married just two months before he left to serve in Hawaii. He was part of the 264th Army Band stationed there, and also played bassoon in the All Service Band during his compulsory call-up. He returned to Detroit after an honorable discharge from the service, and continued to work the clubs in Windsor and Detroit. He was fairly notable as the leader of the 'house band' at the famous Flame Show Bar during its last year of being open, though he continued as both a leader and a sought-after sideman following this event. Academically, he became well-known as a teacher of 'jazz' improvisation and theory locally, and wrote a book entitled "Jazz Etudes Over Classic Jazz Changes" (Houston Publishing, distributed by Hal Leonard). As a session musician, Benson appeared on several 'Motown' studio dates in the 1960s, particularly when backing the 'soul' singer Marvin Gaye. In 1983, he recorded with J C Heard on the drummer's first album as leader since 1958, alongside pianist Claude Black and Canadian bassist Dave Young (he would also serve as co-leader with Heard on another album in 1988). In addition to many recordings as a sessions man, he also released two as as a leader - "Swings & Swings & Swings" (1986, 'Parkwood' label) and "Sax Master" (1999, 'Alembic Arts' label). In 1988, he received the "National Association of Jazz Educators' Outstanding Service to Jazz Education" Award. George 'Sax' Benson died in Detroit on March 9th 2019, aged 90.
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Posted: 11th April 2019
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace ✚", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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18 - 19 Nov 2019
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18 - 18 Nov 2019