Originally released in 1976, Breezin', spearheaded by the hit single “This Masquerade”, was the album that first alerted the public at large to Benson's talents. Long before that, however, he was known to jazz fans as “very probably the most gifted guitarist since Wes Montgomery.”
Produced by Tommy Lipuma, Breezin' features Benson with keyboardists Ronnie Foster and Jorge Dalto, rhythm guitarist Phil Upchurch, drummer Harvey Mason, bassist Stanley Banks and percussionist Ralph MacDonald.
Leon Russell's “This Masquerade” (the first song in music history to occupy the #1 spot in jazz, pop and R&B charts), featuring Benson's soulful vocal and his trademark guitar-voice scatting technique, is the album's only non-instrumental. The other numbers include Bobby Womack's title song, the winner of Grammies for Record of the Year and Best Pop Instrumental.
“...among the half dozen best jazz albums ever made by a contemporary jazz musician.”
Tracks: This Masquerade; Six to Four; Affirmation; So This is Love?; Lady.
Produced by Tommy Lipuma
Multichannel SACD 5.1 mix: Al Schmitt at Capitol Records; Multichannel SACD 5.1 mastering: Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab; Stereo CD and SACD mastering: Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering