Feb 282016
 

From GIVIN’ IT UP

Written by Al Jarreau, David Foster & Jay Graydon

Released in October 2006, Givin’ It Up was an event for contemporary jazz and R&B audiences. It marked the first collaboration between two legends, guitarist and vocalist extraordinaire George Benson and iconic vocalist Al Jarreau. John Burk, who went to the Grammy podium in 2005 for his work on the late Ray Charles’ Genius Loves Company cd, produced Givin’ It Up. The record was a listening pleasure for music lovers who appreciated the classic, sophisticated sounds of two gifted performers. Both Jarreau and Benson were in fine form and gave noteworthy performances throughout the project.

The cd opens with the one-two punch of “Breezin’” and “Mornin’,” two gems from their respective repertoires. To spice things up, Jarreau added his trademark vocals and lyrics to “Breezin’” while Benson returned the favor with a showstopper guitar performance on the Al Jarreau/David Foster/Jay Graydon masterpiece “Mornin’.”

The new cover of “Mornin’” from Givin’ It Up is the Song of the Week. Given that it was impossible to top the beauty of Jarreau’s 1983 original take, Burk and arranger Michael Broening took the song in another direction. They added a fresh, contemporary jazz spin to the timeless melody. Jarreau contributed some evocative vocals to embellish the mood while Marion Meadows enriched the atmosphere with his tasteful saxophone licks. This new rendition of “Mornin’” kept the superior rhythmic and melodic appeal of the Jay Graydon-produced original and was rightly awarded a Grammy as “Best Pop Instrumental Performance.”

Givin’ It Up presented more covers of timeless gems including “God Bless The Child,” popularized by Billie Holiday and featuring Jill Scott that was another Grammy winner for Givin’ It Up. Another highlight was a soothing rendition of John Legend’s “Ordinary People.” And don’t forget the superb, quality pop cover of Seals & Croft’s “Summer Breeze.” The top level of the cd was enhanced by the presence of special guests including Sir Paul McCartney, Patti Austin, trumpeter Chris Botti and piano legend Herbie Hancock. The expertise shown on Givin’ It Up harkened back to a glorious era where great, song-oriented music was made by true musicians. The cd stands as a textbook in terms of song selection, musical arrangement, vocal and instrumental execution. Due to its extraordinary appeal, Givin’ It Up showed good success by reaching #1 on the Contemporary Jazz chart, #14 on the R&B chart and #58 on Billboard’s Top 200.The cd opens with the one-two punch of “Breezin’” and “Mornin’,” two gems from their respective repertoires. To spice things up, Jarreau added his trademark vocals and lyrics to “Breezin’” while Benson returned the favor with a showstopper guitar performance on the Al Jarreau/David Foster/Jay Graydon masterpiece “Mornin’.”
The new cover of “Mornin’” from Givin’ It Up is the Song of the Week. Given that it was impossible to top the beauty of Jarreau’s 1983 original take, Burk and arranger Michael Broening took the song in another direction. They added a fresh, contemporary jazz spin to the timeless melody. Jarreau contributed some evocative vocals to embellish the mood while Marion Meadows enriched the atmosphere with his tasteful saxophone licks. This new rendition of “Mornin’” kept the superior rhythmic and melodic appeal of the Jay Graydon-produced original and was rightly awarded a Grammy as “Best Pop Instrumental Performance.”
Givin’ It Up presented more covers of timeless gems including “God Bless The Child,” popularized by Billie Holiday and featuring Jill Scott that was another Grammy winner for Givin’ It Up. Another highlight was a soothing rendition of John Legend’s “Ordinary People.” And don’t forget the superb, quality pop cover of Seals & Croft’s “Summer Breeze.” The top level of the cd was enhanced by the presence of special guests including Sir Paul McCartney, Patti Austin, trumpeter Chris Botti and piano legend Herbie Hancock. The expertise shown on Givin’ It Up harkened back to a glorious era where great, song-oriented music was made by true musicians. The cd stands as a textbook in terms of song selection, musical arrangement, vocal and instrumental execution. Due to its extraordinary appeal, Givin’ It Up showed good success by reaching #1 on the Contemporary Jazz chart, #14 on the R&B chart and #58 on Billboard’s Top 200.


Listen

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Guitar: George Benson
Vocals: Al Jarreau
Bass: Mel Brown
Drums: Michael White
Guitar: Freddie Fox
Keyboards: Michael Broening
Saxophone: Marion Meadows

Arranged by Michael Broening
Produced by John Burk & Michael Broening


Lyrics

No Lyrics