George Benson is arguably one of the greatest jazz guitarists that ever lived and he is certainly one of my favorite jazz guitar players. Most people know him as a singer of soul & pop songs and don't realize what a fantastic guitarist he is.
He plays just about any style, has a beautiful tone, great improvisational ideas, terrific speed, swings like hell and has very much his own style, although you hear where he got his initial inspirations from : Wes Montgomery and Charlie Christian.
Recommended listening: 'Beyond the Blue Horizon'
Have a look at these great licks and be inspired by the master of smooth jazz guitar:<:p>
1) The first lick starts with a Cmaj7#5 arpeggio (E7b13) and continues in an A melodic minor scale.
2) The first bar of the next lick uses a Dm7b5 arpeggio, which gives an altered type of sound over E7 : b7, b9, 3 and b13.
In the second bar George plays a Abmaj7 arpeggio : 3, b13, 7 and #9. The use of a major 7 on a dominant chord is a bit unusual, but sounds ok here because it is part of a series of arpeggios that are used to build tension.
After the Abmaj7 arpeggio follows an Ab#5 triad arpeggio : 3, b13 and 1 going to the 9 of Amin.
You can hear this lick on the standard 'Stella by Starlight' on the CD 'Tenderly''.
1) The Fm7 chord here is substituted by Abmaj7 with a bit of chromatism.
2) This very nice lick also comes out of 'Stella by Starlight' from the CD 'Tenderly''.
1) This lick uses the C minor pentatonic scale.
1) This one uses the Ab minor blues scale.