With a foreword by Bill Cosby, this memoir by guitarist and singer Benson is more than a mere rag-to-riches saga, but that of a determined young musician driven by ambition and professionalism to succeed on his own terms. Benson, a self-taught artist influenced by legend Charlie Christian, made his debut at age seven in 1950 in his native Pittsburgh, becoming a draw in local nightclubs and recording four sides for RCA Victor before 15. When the guitarist finally gets with the big boys, he falls under the spell of Brother Jack McDuff, a rowdy, soulful organist with an eye for talent, before signing with Columbia Records, later with the CTI label. One of the more interesting sections concerns his role of sideman to Miles Davis, jazz's Prince of Darkness, and the brilliant chaos of recording with the master trumpeter. Benson exceeded all his expectations when he had a string of smash albums and popular road shows in the late 70s, produced by the legendary Quincy Jones: "Breezing," "On Broadway," and "Give Me The Night." This inspiring memoir of a self-made jazz star is a story of hard work, endurance, and resilience in a quest to reach the top. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/18/2014 Release date: 08/01/2014 Genre: Nonfiction
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