George Benson

George Benson is a very good ping pong player. I discovered this while covering the Free Jazz Festival in Sao Paulo Brazil. I could hear the ball bouncing and saw a crowd gathered around the table in the lobby of the Maksoud Plaza Hotel. After the guitarist dispatched two opponents and started to walk away, I asked if he was “ready for a lesson.” Although I knew I was going to get beaten, my ruse worked, and soon I was in a hot and heavy game. It was a good battle, after which he invited me for a drink. One caiperinia turned into several, and our visit stretched into the afternoon. We arranged for a phone interview once Benson returned to his home in Hawaii. Benson enjoyed talking about his early inspirations and repertoire, and the expectations of his fans.

  1. George Benson talks about the Charlie Christian sound. “Take Five” from Bad Benson CTI (1974)
  2. George Benson styling on “Honky Tonk.” “Breezin’” and “Six To Four” from Breezin’ Warner Brothers (1976)
  3. George Benson on audience expectation, and doing what he wants. “Six To Four” from Breezin’ Warner Brothers (1976)
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