"Breezin'" is a classic jazz-fusion album by guitarist George Benson, released in 1976. This album is considered to be a landmark in the fusion genre, which combines elements of jazz with other musical styles such as funk, rock, and R&B.
Jazz-fusion emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a new direction in jazz, reflecting the influences of contemporary popular music and incorporating elements of rock, funk, and R&B into the jazz genre. This style of music is characterized by its use of electric instruments, complex arrangements, and extended solos.
"Breezin'" is a prime example of the jazz-fusion genre. It features Benson's virtuosic guitar playing, combined with the tight grooves and intricate arrangements of a top-notch fusion ensemble. The album was a commercial success, reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart, and it has been widely recognized as a classic of the genre.
The title track, "Breezin'", is a relaxed and atmospheric instrumental that showcases Benson's smooth and soulful guitar playing. The album also features a cover of Leon Russell's "This Masquerade", which became a hit single and established Benson as a commercially successful artist.
In addition to Benson's guitar playing, "Breezin'" features contributions from other top fusion musicians, including keyboardist Ronnie Foster, saxophonist Phil Upchurch, and drummer Harvey Mason. The album was produced by legendary jazz producer Tommy LiPuma, who was known for his work with artists such as Stan Getz, Chet Baker, and Wes Montgomery.
In conclusion, George Benson's "Breezin'" is a classic album of the jazz-fusion genre. It showcases Benson's virtuosic guitar playing and the tight grooves and intricate arrangements of a top-notch fusion ensemble. The album's success established Benson as a commercially successful artist and helped to establish the jazz-fusion genre as a major force in contemporary music.
Source: AllMusic. (n.d.). George Benson: Breezin'. [online] Available at: https://www.allmusic.com/album/breezin-mw0000189045 [Accessed 5 Mar. 2023].