Watch the Benson Descending online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know
The controversy over Playing George vs. Singing George is almost as thick as when the U.S. Post Office held a public debate over whether to immortalize Young Elvis or Old Elvis on a stamp. At this point it’s clear that while Singing George may have to bust out "On Broadway" at least once a year for the rest of his life, Playing George hasn’t gone anywhere and is in fact still as ferocious as ever. It certainly makes you wonder whether Wes Montgomery viewed those Creed Taylor-produced crossover records he was making before he passed away as just a chance to pay the bills, after which he fully intended to resume going out and kicking serious quartet ass as the world’s most happening jazz guitarist. We’ll never know, of course, and it’s not like Nat Cole ever turned around after making "Nature Boy" and opted to play club gigs with a trio again either. And why should he have? The hours for that kind of work are strictly for vampires, and you don’t have to deal with untuned pianos when a fifty-piece orchestra’s got your back. But back to Benson. The beauty of the recorded age is that if you want, you can go hang out with Playing George any time you like - just pick up a copy of Giblet Gravy or It’s Uptown!, both of which feature Benson playing a whole LOT of guitar.