Friday, November 17, 2006
The Star Of A Story I'll Always Tell
You're in a bar with a friend. Someone you've known for a while, though never really got 'deep' with. A few vodka limes (his favourite drink) have gone by...The conversation turns (when doesn't it with the people we love?) to music. You pop The Big Question....
''So listen. When it comes right on down to it, what's your favourite album of all time? No, really.'
He takes a sip of the vodka lime.
You prepare yourself for One Of Those Answers. You know the contenders, need we detail them here?
'You know what, it's probably Give Me The Night by George Benson. You know it?'
'Yes I know it. Never put it in THAT category though....'
Later, you bid goodbye. Just catch the last train home.
Next day, you put on that album. You think you might hear it with new ears....
Well....first off, acknowledge you HAVE always loved it. Think of your friend; hear what he might hear in it.
' You know what? This is not Obvious, but it IS lovely'.
Composed. A mood. A moment. A WARM, intimate 45 minute thing (remember when albums lasted just three quarters of an hour?).
The friend is right.
A prodigiously talented jazz instrumentalist turned popular singer (precedent = Nat 'King' Cole) - with a voice, by the way, that could melt Big Frozen Things - George Benson is one of the great critically unsung heroes of black American music of the 70s and 80s.
This record'll be warming the cockles of the hearts of ordinary people in ordinary love on ordinary Friday nights long after the OK Computers of this world have been boxed and labelled 'Officially Classic....Yet Mostly Unplayed'.
Go on. Indulge yourself. Say The Ghost's friend sent you.