George Benson Quotes.
People who love jazz musicians love us when we play what we want to play and we’re starving. But as soon as you commercialize your sound like Wes Montgomery did, the jazz fans and the critics are down on you!
My whole career from the early 70s on has been mind-blowing. I didn’t imagine in my life that I would ever be considered a guitar player first of all because I started off as a singer.
There is no finer guitarist than Kenny Burrell
One thing all the way through the show to me is boring. I don’t care how great the artist is. I find that if my audience is very young, and they want to hear very young songs, my show will be dominated by that. But there’ll be some ballads here and there and some swing tunes.
I’ve always hated rejection; I only want to go out there when I know I’ve got it right.
I haven’t done anything with Chick Corea. He had a group called Return to Forever, and everyone in the group became a superstar. I would really like to work with him.
Life isn’t all me. I have a family to support. I can’t rob them of a good life simply because I want to play something.
You might not feel like playing pretty all the time. Instead, you might want to play something nasty….you might want to play something out of context with the tune. It might be a note that creates so much tension it becomes unpleasant, but you want it to sound that way.
I study the Bible constantly. I teach the Bible. You know, I’m a Bible conductor, and I have a lot of people studies. But also, I see how small things really help people to get over humps in their life. Gives them direction.
The greatest teacher is just going out and playing.
I listen to other guitar players, yeah. It gives me new concepts and shows me where the instrument is going for the future and it is going some places. There are some musicians who are really putting out a good vibe with new theories. I try and keep up.
I spent a lot of time teaching myself theory and harmony so I could be free to express myself on the instrument.
The less one remembers about the day before, the more the new day will be unfettered by triviality.
The jazz rhythm won’t be understood by the bulk of my audience. That’s the problem. We can get away with maybe one tune a night. It depends on where we place it. A song like ‘Beyond the Sea,’ the fans love that. It’s fresh.
My stepfather had an electric guitar. He went to his pawn store one day to get a guitar and an amp, and I couldn’t understand what I was hearing. All afternoon, I just sat against the amp and let it reverberate through me. Something must have stuck.
Love songs are one of the great essences of life, the only thing that’s lasting.
I think I’m more entertainer than musician. I like to get with the crowd, make this night special for them.
I keep my ears open. The world can change overnight; that’s what happens in this world. You never know. You have to keep your eyes and ears open. If you can’t keep up, you ain’t gonna catch up. I’ve been making records since 1953, and you just have to keep up.
As my career has progressed, I’ve had the pleasure of playing with the baddest jazz cats on the planet. But that doesn’t change my desire to entertain folks. That’s really who I am.
I like Simon Cowell – look at how many great artists have come out of the U.K. because of him.
One of the first things electric I ever saw was a guitar. I was living in a house with no electricity until, at 7, we moved to a house that had it. It had electric lights, but the previous owners had even taken the light bulbs with them when they moved.
No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.
The melody is the most important thing that must stay in the minds of the people who listen to you. No matter how many notes you play, you can’t let them forget what the song is.
If you play music for the right reasons, the rest of the things will come. The right reason to play music is that you love it. That’s why I play music. I never imagined that I was going to be doing this, especially because I never thought of myself as an instrumentalist.
Guitar gigs were everywhere in the ’50s, and I started diddling around so I could keep working. Playing honky-tonk, simple stuff. I took a few gigs with an organ band that put me out front.
I never gave up on that idea, you know, that jazz musicians have the same opportunity as everybody else and that it’s what you put on that record that makes the difference whether you sell it or not or are able to get it into people’s households.
My biggest song in the world is ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You.’ All over the world, it’s number one on the whole planet.
I’ve done two albums for Concord Records; one was with Al Jarreau and it did very well for us. The second album was called ‘Songs And Stories,’ and it had good songs and good performances, but I promised them I would do an album that was more jazz-oriented.
The first time I tried to sing along with my guitar, everybody in the studio booed. They all said it wouldn’t work.