Thursday, June 11, 2009

We All Remember Wes



George Benson: We All Remember Wes (live)
From Weekend in L.A. (Warner Bros., 1977)


After recently covering one of my favorite contemporary jazz musicians Bobbi Humphrey, I decided to pull out George Benson's colorful, 2-disc live set Weekend in L.A.

The Warner Bros. set was a prolific addition to Benson's catalogue - reaching number one on the R&B and jazz charts. Astonishingly, the album even reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 (pop). The album contained his heavy rendition of the Drifters' classic "On Broadway" and the first recorded version of "The Greatest Love of All" - way before Whitney touched it.

One of my favs from that double-disc project was the disco-flavored, upbeat jazz tune "We All Remember Wes;" penned by the legendary virtuoso Stevie Wonder. Now I did a little research on where the song came from originally and what the song meant...and if it ever had lyrics to it. Hopefully that would help me in knowing if Wes was some tribute to jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery (who passed away in 1968). In all of my research, I didn't find not an iota of data to help a brother out. So I will carefully assume that Stevie Wonder and George Benson paid tribute to the late great guitarist - especially since Benson does a heck of a great job on the funky track. His performance is worth being labeled a tribute to Wes.

By the way, everytime I listened to it - it painted those images of that relaxing Price Is Right game show music.

The original track is 5:45 minutes long, but with my editing skills and modern technology I managed to cut a minute off. Still quite enjoyable, even though - if you are like me - you probably want to fetch for the longer version.

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