A split CTI
package – with a record apiece by Hubert Laws and George Benson! Hubert Laws is first with In The Beginning – moody work from one of the most groundbreaking flute players of the 70s – and a real standout in the legendary catalog of CTI
Records! Hubert Laws was not only richly talented, but he was also capable of a large number of styles – and this double-length set for CTI
has him moving past the electric funky jazz that was the usual manner of the label. The set features backing by a range of different keyboardists – from Bob James, to Clare Fisher, to Richard Tee – plus tenor by Ronnie Laws, percussion by Airto, drums by Steve Gadd, and guitar by Gene Bertonicini. All tracks are long, and the material spans funk, jazz, and even a bit of classically influenced playing. Titles include "Mean Lene", "Restoration", "Moment's Notice", and "Reconciliation", and "In The Beginning". Next up is George Benson In Concert Carnegie Hall – one of his hardest-hitting albums of the time! In a way, the record returns George to his early years at CTI
– particularly the album Beyond The Blue Horizon – as the set's got a stripped down smaller group, working in a tight blend of electric jazzy bits that's very nice! Ronnie Foster lays down some great keyboards on the set, Hubert Laws is on flute, and George himself plays a hollow body with a nice soulful tone – stretching out on some straight jazz on most cuts, but also hitting a few of his smoother notes from the mid 70s. Titles include "Sky Dive", "Take Five", "Octane", "Summertime", and "Gone".