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A masterful collection of seductive grooves., March 2, 2007

These two masters of easy-flowing smooth jazz have really done it this time: instead of merely coasting on their considerable reputations, guitarist George Benson and singer Al Jarreau collaborated on a well-considered program displaying their talents to the best possible advantage. Jarreau provides lyrics for Benson's classic Breezin' and both soar on inspired reinventions of two Miles Davis tunes, Four and Tutu.
Though it has taken three decades, the pairing of George Benson and Al Jarreau - peerless music legends who both sprang from jazz into the international R&B and pop mainstream - was pure destiny.The parallels of their career paths, musical ideologies and fans bases would seem to have deemed it so many moons ago. Both have earned multiple Gold and Platinum albums, totaling millions of copies sold, along with coveted Grammy awards in both the pop and jazz categories. And both gentlemen are consummate and engaging entertainers, each capable of selling out an all-nighter by himself and still barely denting his catalog of timeless classics.The result is a landmark, 13-song album. Painstakingly prepared by Benson and Jarreau, "Givin' It Up" touches on every style and mood fans could imagine from this stellar event of musical matchmaking." Givin' It Up" crackles with inventive covers of standards ranging from the 1940s (Billie Holiday's "God Bless the...

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I have seen Al Jarreau 20 times in concert (and recently saw Al and George perform at the Hollywood Bowl) and am a long-time fan from WAY BACK. There are a few Al CDs that you just play forwards and backwards (and back when they were cassettes, you wore out the tape) because they're just PERFECT. "Breakin' Away", "Jarreau" and "Heaven and Earth" come to mind. Well, add "Givin' It Up" to that list. If you're an old-school Al fan and you're wondering whether to buy this CD, BUY IT. It will live up to all of your Al expectations. There's a "Look the Rainbow" feel to it, there's a "Breakin' Away" feel to it, there's a "Jarreau" feel to it. There's even a "Glow" feel to it (when you think about tunes like "Milwaukee" and "Have You Seen the Child?"). Grassroots Al.It's got the production values of "Heaven and Earth" and "Tenderness". FABULOUS production, arrangements, gathering of talent. There is not one song on here that you will skip as you're listening to it driving to work...
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I've been a fan of both these guys for years but in recent times have felt Al's voice in particular to be not what it once was - Well let me admit my error. This is a superb effort!!! George is still the greatest guitarist out there..sure it ain't straight Jazz - that's it's beauty!A wonderful hybrid of styles anf for my money 'All that I am' has one of the best vocal performances of George's career (a sweet but moving tune)The syncopations in 'Don't start no stuff' are sensational.All up a great set from two of music's real stylists and boundary pushers!!
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Though it has taken three decades, the pairing of George Benson and Al Jarreau - peerless music legends who both sprang from jazz into the international R&B and pop mainstream - was pure destiny.The parallels of their career paths, musical ideologies and fans bases would seem to have deemed it so many moons ago. Both have earned multiple Gold and Platinum albums, totaling millions of copies sold, along with coveted Grammy awards in both the pop and jazz categories. And both gentlemen are consummate and engaging entertainers, each capable of selling out an all-nighter by himself and still barely denting his catalog of timeless classics.The result is a landmark, 13-song album. Painstakingly prepared by Benson and Jarreau, "Givin' It Up" touches on every style and mood fans could imagine from this stellar event of musical matchmaking." Givin' It Up" crackles with inventive covers of standards ranging from the 1940s (Billie Holiday's "God Bless the...
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