1990 in jazz
This is a timeline documenting events of Jazz in the year 1990. 6 – The 17th Vossajazz started in Voss, Norway. 23 – The 18th Nattjazz started in Bergen, Norway. 1 – The 19th Moers Festival started in Moers, Germany. 7 – 24th Montreux Jazz Festival started in Switzerland. 12 – The 15th North Sea Jazz Festival started in The Hague. 17 – The 7th Brecon Jazz Festival started in Brecon, Wales. 21 – The 33rd Monterey Jazz Festival started in Monterey, California. Eliane Elias and Randy Brecker was divorced. January3 – Peter van Steeden, Dutch-American composer. 8 – Georgie Auld, Canadian tenor saxophonist and bandleader. 9 – Buschi Niebergall, German free jazz musician. February2 – Mel Lewis, American drummer and bandleader. 4 – Fritz Schulz-Reichel, German pianist. 5 – King Perry, American saxophonist, clarinetist and bandleader. 21 – John Madrid, American trumpeter. 27 – Arthur Österwall, Swedish band leader, composer and upright bassist. 28 – Russell Jacquet, American trumpeter. March12 – Harry South, English pianist and arranger.
17 – Jack Noren, American drummer and vocalist. 23 – Al Sears, American tenor saxophonist and bandleader. April3 – Sarah Vaughan, American singer. 5 – Louis Nelson, American trombonist. 25 – Dexter Gordon, American tenor saxophonist. May4 – Emily Remler, American guitarist. 7 – Elizete Cardoso, Argentine singer and actress. 16 – Sammy Davis, Jr. American singer and entertainer. 17 – Frank Wright, American tenor saxophonist. 18 Eje Thelin, Swedish trombonist. Sing Miller, American pianist. 26 – Chris McGregor, South African pianist and composer. June2 – Walter Davis Jr. American pianist. 7 – Lou Blackburn, American trombonist. 10 – Hubert Rostaing, Algierian-French clarinetist and tenor saxophonist. 11 – Clyde McCoy, American trumpeter. 21 – June Christy, American singer. 28 – Howard Roberts, American guitarist. 30 – Dudu Pukwana, South African saxophonist and pianist. July21 – Joe Turner, American pianist. 31 – Lowell Davidson, American pianist. August12 – Harry Leahey, American guitarist. 14 – Chester Zardis, American upright bassist.
17 – Pearl Bailey, American actress and singer. September3 – Betty Glamann, American jazz harpist. 23 – George Desmond Hodnett, Irish composer, piano and zither player. 29 – Freddie Kohlman, American drummer and bandleader. October1 – Phil Napoleon, American trumpeter and bandleader. 5 – Sam Taylor, American tenor saxophonist. 6 – Asser Fagerström, Finnish pianist and actor (. 16 – Art Blakey, American drummer and bandleader, The Jazz Messengers. 25 – Major Holley, American upright bassist. 27 – Xavier Cugat, bandleader. November4 – William Leavitt, American guitarist and arranger. 16 – Lee Castle, American trumpeter and bandleader. 26 Dave Wilkins, Barbadian trumpeter. Rita Ora, British singer-songwriter and actor. December5 – Bill Hardman, American trumpeter and flugelhornist. 18 – Bernard Addison, American guitarist. Unknown dateFrancis Coppieters, Belgian pianist. January17 – Diknu Schneeberger, Austrian guitarist. February13 – Jonathan Chua, Singaporean drummer. March27 – Kimbra Lee Johnson, New Zealand singer and actress.
April20 – Sebastian Nordström, Swedish bassist. July11 – Ole Mofjell, Norwegian drummer. 23 – Torgeir Standal, Norwegian guitarist. August15 – Benjamin Kheng, Singaporean guitarist/pianist/composer and brony. October25 Austin Peralta, American pianist. At age 15, a featured performer at the 2006 Tokyo Jazz Festival. Marthe Wang, Norwegian singer and songwriter. November6 – Jonathan Barber, American drummer. 27 – Mette Henriette, Norwegian saxophonist and autodidact composer. December20 – Corrie Dick, Scottish drummer, percussionist and composer. 25 – Sandra Riley Tang, Singaporean female double-bassist. Unknown dateAlper Tuzcu, Turkish singer and music producer. Charlotte Dos Santos, Norwegian vocalist and arranger. Laura Jurd, British trumpet and synthesizer player. Martin Masakowski, American bassist. 1990s in jazz List of years in jazz 1990 in music History Of Jazz Timeline: 1990 at All About Jazz
Lonnie Liston Smith
Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. is an American jazz and funk musician who played with such jazz artists as Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis before forming Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes, recording a number of albums regarded as classics in the fusion, smooth jazz and acid jazz genres. Smith was raised in Richmond, Virginia to a musical family, he studied piano and trumpet in high school and college before receiving a B. S. in music education from Morgan State University in Baltimore in 1961. Smith has cited John Coltrane and Miles Davis as major influences in his youth. While still a teenager, Smith became well known locally as a backing vocalist as well as pianist in the Baltimore metropolitan area. During this period, he performed with a number of his contemporaries, including Gary Bartz, Grachan Moncur, Mickey Bass, he backed a number of jazz singers while performing in the house band at Baltimore's Royal Theater shortly after receiving his degree. In 1963, he moved to New York City, where he played piano in Betty Carter's band for a year.
Early in 1965, Smith began playing with Roland Kirk, first recording with his band on Here Comes The Whistleman, an album recorded live in New York on March 14, 1965. A further track from that gig, "Dream", appeared the same year on Roland Kirk and Al Hibbler's live album A Meeting Of The Times. Late in 1965, Smith joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, sharing the piano position with Mike Nock and Keith Jarrett; the Jazz Messengers, together with Miles Davis' group, were one of the main proving grounds for young up-and-coming jazz musicians, experimentally edgy and musically stretching, both were an ever-revolving door of young modern jazz musicians as modes and moods changed during a fresh period of experimentation. Beginning with a live session at The Five Spot, New York City, November 9, 1965, Smith's time as a Jazz Messenger was short-term, only lasting until a three-gig engagement at The Village Vanguard 26–28 April 1966. No recordings exist of this period. In May 1967, Smith returned to working with Roland Kirk for the album sessions for Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith before continuing his career as pianist for a year with drummer Max Roach.
Following this stint, Smith moved to Pharoah Sanders' ensemble early in 1968, a group Sanders had set up on the death of John Coltrane the previous year. Fiercely improvisational, Sanders pushed the band creatively to the boundaries of free jazz, recording three of Sanders' finest recordings: Karma, Jewels of Thought and Thembi, together with 1969 recording sessions not released until 1973 as Izipho Zam, it is at this point that Smith began experimenting with electric keyboards: On Thembi, the first time that I touched a Fender Rhodes electric piano. We got to the studio in California — Cecil McBee had to unpack his bass, the drummer had to set up his drums, Pharoah had to unpack all of his horns. Everybody had something to do. I saw this instrument sitting in the corner and I asked the engineer,'What is that?' He said,'That’s a Fender Rhodes electric piano.' I didn’t have anything to do, so I started messing with it, checking some of the buttons to see what I could do with different sounds. All of a sudden I started writing a song and everybody ran over and said,'What is that?'
And I said,'I don’t know, I’m just messing around.' Pharoah said,'Man, we gotta record that. Whatcha gonna call it?' I’d been studying astral projections and it sounded like we were floating through space so I said let’s call it'Astral Traveling.' That's. During this period, Smith backed Sanders vocalist Leon Thomas on his first album Spirits Known and Unknown. Having guested on Gato Barbieri's 1969 album The Third World, Smith joined Barbieri's band from 1971 to 1973. Barbieri had by begun to temper his free jazz excursions of the 1960s with softer Afro-Cuban and South American textures in his music, which would influence Smith's playing into new directions in the following years. Smith played on a number of albums marking this transition, the live album El Pampero and Under Fire. One further recording, El Gato, was released. Over the next year, during an intense period of studio recording by Davis, various line-ups laid down a considerable number of sessions, which were inter-cut and remixed for final release.
Miles Davis insisted that Smith learn to play the organ for the sessions: "Miles gave me two nights to learn how to make music on the thing. Miles liked to introduce new sounds in a surprising way — that's how he produced such innovative, fresh music." Smith's contributions appeared on On the track "Ife" on Big Fun. While passing through Miles Davis' ever-changing line-up, Smith had formed his own group,'Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes' in 1973, together with his partner in Pharoah Sanders group, Ceci
David Warren Brubeck was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz. He wrote a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting both his mother's attempts at classical training and his own improvisational skills, his music is known for employing unusual time signatures as well as superimposing contrasting rhythms and tonalities. Brubeck experimented with time signatures throughout his career, recording "Pick Up Sticks" in 64, "Unsquare Dance" in 74, "World's Fair" in 134, "Blue Rondo à la Turk" in 98, he was a composer of orchestral and sacred music and wrote soundtracks for television, such as Mr. Broadway and the animated miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown. Incorrectly attributed to Brubeck, the song "Take Five", which has become a jazz standard, was composed by Brubeck's long-time musical partner, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. Appearing on one of the top-selling jazz albums, Time Out, written in 54 time, "Take Five" has endured as a jazz classic associated with Brubeck.
Dave Brubeck was born in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Concord and grew up in a city located in the Mother Lode called Ione, California. His father, Peter Howard "Pete" Brubeck, was a cattle rancher, his mother, who had studied piano in England under Myra Hess and intended to become a concert pianist, taught piano for extra money, his father had Swiss ancestry and Native American Modoc lineage, while his maternal grandparents were English and German. Brubeck did not intend to become a musician, but took lessons from his mother, he could not read music during these early lessons, attributing this difficulty to poor eyesight, but "faked" his way through well enough that this deficiency went unnoticed. Intending to work with his father on their ranch, Brubeck entered the College of the Pacific in Stockton, studying veterinary science, he changed to music on the urging of the head of zoology, Dr. Arnold, who told him "Brubeck, your mind's not here. It's across the lawn in the conservatory. Please go there.
Stop wasting my time and yours." Brubeck was nearly expelled when one of his professors discovered that he could not read music on sight. Several of his professors came forward, arguing that his ability to write counterpoint and harmony more than compensated, demonstrated his familiarity with music notation; the college was still afraid that it would cause a scandal, agreed to let Brubeck graduate only after he had promised never to teach piano. After graduating in 1942, Brubeck was drafted into the U. S. Army, he served in Europe in the Third Army. He volunteered to play piano at a Red Cross show and was such a hit that he was spared from combat service and ordered to form a band, he created one of the U. S. armed forces' first racially integrated bands, "The Wolfpack". While serving in the military, Brubeck met Paul Desmond in early 1944, he returned to college after serving nearly four years in the army, this time attending Mills College in Oakland. He studied under Darius Milhaud, who encouraged him to study fugue and orchestration, but not classical piano.
While on active duty, he received two lessons from Arnold Schoenberg at UCLA in an attempt to connect with high modernist theory and practice. However, the encounter did not end on good terms since Schoenberg believed that every note should be accounted for, an approach which Brubeck could not accept, although according to his son Chris Brubeck, there is a twelve-tone row in The Light in the Wilderness, Dave Brubeck's first oratorio. In it, Jesus's twelve disciples are introduced each singing their own individual notes. In 1949, Sheedy was talked into making the first recording of Brubeck's octet and his trio, but Sheedy was unable to pay his bills and in 1949 turned his masters over to his record stamping company, the Circle Record Company, owned by Max and Sol Weiss. The Weiss brothers soon changed the name of their business to Fantasy Records; these initial Brubeck records sold well, he recorded and issued new records for Fantasy. Soon the company was shipping 40,000 to 50,000 copies of Brubeck records each quarter, making enormous profits.
In 1951, Brubeck damaged several neck vertebrae and his spinal cord while diving into the surf in Hawaii. He would remark that the rescue workers who responded had described him as a "DOA". Brubeck recovered after a few months, but suffered with residual nerve pain in his hands for years after; the injury influenced his playing style towards complex, blocky chords rather than speedy, high-dexterity, single-note runs. Brubeck organized the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond on alto saxophone, they took up a long residency at San Francisco's Black Hawk nightclub and gained great popularity touring college campuses, recording a series of albums with such titles as Jazz at Oberlin, Jazz at the College of the Pacific, Brubeck's debut on Columbia Records, Jazz Goes to College. When Brubeck signed with Fantasy Records, he thought he had a half interest in the company and he worked as a sort of A & R man for the label, encouraging the Weiss
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It employs distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo and time signature changes, chromatic chord progressions; the lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, occultism, Lovecraftian horror, mysticism, philosophy, science fiction, politics, they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, torture, rape and necrophilia. Building from the musical structure of thrash metal and early black metal, death metal emerged during the mid-1980s. Bands such as Venom, Celtic Frost and Kreator were important influences on the genre's creation. Possessed, Necrophagia, Obituary and Morbid Angel are considered pioneers of the genre. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, death metal gained more media attention as popular genre. Niche record labels like Combat and Roadrunner began to sign death metal bands at a rapid rate.
Since death metal has diversified, spawning several subgenres. Melodic death metal combines death metal elements with those of the new wave of British heavy metal. Technical death metal is a complex style, with uncommon time signatures, atypical rhythms, unusual harmonies and melodies. Death-doom combines the deep growled vocals and double-kick drumming of death metal with the slow tempos and melancholic atmosphere of doom metal. Deathgrind and pornogrind mix the complexity of death metal with the intensity and brevity of grindcore. Deathcore combines death metal with metalcore traits. Death'n' roll combines death metal's growled vocals and distorted, detuned guitar riffs with elements of 1970s hard rock and heavy metal. English heavy metal band Venom, from Newcastle, crystallized the elements of what became known as thrash metal, death metal and black metal, with their 1981 album Welcome to Hell, their dark, blistering sound, harsh vocals, macabre, proudly Satanic imagery proved a major inspiration for extreme metal bands.
Another influential band, formed in 1981. Although the band was a thrash metal act, Slayer's music was more violent than their thrash contemporaries Metallica and Anthrax, their breakneck speed and instrumental prowess combined with lyrics about death, violence and Satanism won Slayer a rabid cult following. According to AllMusic, their third album Reign in Blood inspired the entire death metal genre, it had a big impact on genre leaders such as Death and Morbid Angel. Possessed, a band that formed in the San Francisco Bay Area during 1983, is described by Allmusic as "connecting the dots" between thrash metal and death metal with their 1985 debut album, Seven Churches. While attributed as having a Slayer influence and former members of the band had cited Venom and Motörhead, as well as early work by Exodus, as the main influences on their sound. Although the group had released only two studio albums and an EP in their formative years, they have been described by music journalists and musicians as either being "monumental" in developing the death metal style, or as being the first death metal band.
Earache Records noted that "the likes of Trey Azagthoth and Morbid Angel based what they were doing in their formative years on the Possessed blueprint laid down on the legendary Seven Churches recording. Possessed arguably did more to further the cause of'Death Metal' than any of the early acts on the scene back in the mid-late 80's." During the same period as the dawn of Possessed, a second influential metal band was formed in Orlando, Florida: Death. Called Mantas, Death was formed in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner, Kam Lee, Rick Rozz. In 1984 they released their first demo entitled Death followed by several more; the tapes circulated through the tape trader world establishing the band's name. With Death guitarist Schuldiner adopting vocal duties, the band made a major impact on the scene; the fast minor-key riffs and solos were complemented with fast drumming, creating a style that would catch on in tape trading circles. Schuldiner has been credited by Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia for being recognized as the "Father of Death Metal".
Death's 1987 debut release, Scream Bloody Gore, has been described by About.com's Chad Bowar as being the "evolution from thrash metal to death metal", "the first true death metal record" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Along with Possessed and Death, other pioneers of death metal in the United States include Macabre, Massacre, Cannibal Corpse,Obituary, Post Mortem. By 1989, many bands had been signed by eager record labels wanting to cash in on the subgenre, including Florida's Obituary, Morbid Angel and Deicide; this collective of death metal bands hailing from Florida are labeled as "Florida death metal". Morbid Angel pushed the genre's limits both musically and lyrically, with the release of their debut album Altars of Madness in 1989; the album "redefined what it meant to be heavy while influencing an upcoming class of brutal death metal." Death metal spread to Sweden in the late 1980s, flourishing with pioneers such as Carnage, God Macabre, Entombed and Unleashed. In the early 1990s, the rise of melodic death metal was recognized, with bands such as Dark Tranquillity, At the Gates, In Flames.
Following the original death metal innovators, new subgenres began by the end of the decade. British band Napalm Death became associated with death metal, in particular, on their 1990 album Harmony Corruption; this alb
Joshua Redman is an American jazz saxophonist and composer. In 1991, he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Joshua Redman was born in Berkeley, California, to jazz saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer and librarian Renee Shedroff, he is Jewish. He was exposed to many kinds of music at the Center for World Music in Berkeley, where his mother studied South Indian dance; some of his earliest lessons in music and improvisation were on recorder with gamelan player Jody Diamond. He was exposed at an early age to a variety of musics and instruments and began playing clarinet at age nine before switching to what became his primary instrument, the tenor saxophone, one year later. Redman cites John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley, his father Dewey Redman, as well as the Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Earth and Fire, the Police and Led Zeppelin as musical influences. Redman graduated from Berkeley High School, class of 1986, after having been a part of the award-winning Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble for all four years of high school.
After graduation, Joshua frequented the classroom jam sessions of Bay Area pianist and professor of music, Ed Kelly. It was there. In 1991, he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Social Studies from Harvard University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society, he had been accepted by Yale Law School, but deferred entrance for what he believed was only going to be one year. Some of his friends had relocated to Brooklyn, they were looking for another housemate to help with the rent. Redman accepted their invitation to move in, immediately he found himself immersed in the New York jazz scene, he began jamming and gigging with some of the leading jazz musicians of his generation and that of his father, including Brad Mehldau, Peter Martin, Mark Turner, Peter Bernstein, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Kevin Hays, Jorge Rossy, Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins, among others. Redman won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition in 1991, began focusing on his musical career.
He was signed by Warner Bros. Records and issued his first self-titled album in the spring of 1993, which subsequently earned Redman his first Grammy nomination, he continued to develop his style throughout the 1990s, beginning with a sideman appearance on Elvin Jones' Youngblood alongside Javon Jackson, following up with an appearance on his father Dewey's 1992 record Choices. On his second album as a leader, Wish, he was joined by a notable lineup consisting of guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins, he continued to work with various quartets, including one with pianist Brad Mehldau until forming a new trio, with keyboardist Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade. The trio debuted under the moniker Yaya3; the same group of musicians made up the core on Redman's Elastic album, before becoming known as the Joshua Redman Elastic Band. Some of his works were featured on The Weather Channel's Local on the 8s. Redman performed in a fictitious supergroup, "The Louisiana Gator Boys", in the 1998 film Blues Brothers 2000, performing on "How Blue Can You Get?" and "New Orleans".
In 1999, Joshua Redman was immortalized in the children's TV show Arthur on PBS. He appeared in the tenth episode of the fourth season, where it was rumored by the characters that he would get in a fight with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who appeared in the episode. In 2000, Redman was named Artistic Director for the Spring Season of the non-profit jazz-presenting organization SFJAZZ. Redman co-founded the SFJAZZ with Executive Director Randall Kline, as the SFJAZZ Collective, an ensemble distinguished by the creativity of its members and a primary emphasis on composition. In March 2007, Redman announced that he was taking a hiatus from both the SFJAZZ Artistic Directorship and the SFJAZZ Collective in order to focus on new projects. In 2004, Redman first sat in with Umphrey's McGee at their performance in Boston, Massachusetts, at the Paradise Rock Club. Redman has collaborated with Umphrey's McGee around 20 times since, including an all-improvised set in Madison, Wisconsin in January 2016. In 2006, he performed with the New Zealand Symphony orchestra in composer John Psathas' concerto for saxophone and drumkit, released in Rattle Records' album, View from Olympus.
The album won Best Classical Album for 2007 in the New Zealand music awards. In April 2007, Nonesuch released Redman's first piano-less trio record, Back East, featuring Joshua alongside three bass and drum rhythm sections and three guest saxophonists, his January 2009 release, continued the trio tradition, included some tracks with a double-trio setup, featuring saxophone, two basses and two drummers. Starting in late 2009, Redman began performing with a new collaborative band called James Farm, featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland, they released their first self-titled album on April 26, 2011 and their follow-up album, City Folk on October 27, 2014. Redman was an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' judging panel to support independent artists. In early 2013, it was announced that Redman would release a new collection of vintage and contemporary ballads featuring a jazz quartet and an orchestral ensemble titled Walking Shadows. Produced by Redman's friend and frequent collaborato
George Benson is an American guitarist and songwriter. He began his professional career at the age of 21 as a jazz guitarist. Benson uses a rest-stroke picking technique similar to that of gypsy jazz players such as Django Reinhardt. A former child prodigy, Benson first came to prominence in the 1960s, playing soul jazz with Jack McDuff and others, he launched a successful solo career, alternating between jazz, pop, R&B singing, scat singing. His album Breezin' was certified triple-platinum, hitting no. 1 on the Billboard album chart in 1976. His concerts were well attended through the 1980s, he still has a large following. Benson has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Benson was raised in the Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of seven, he first played the ukulele in a corner drug store, for which he was paid a few dollars. At the age of eight, he played guitar in an unlicensed nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights, but the police soon closed the club down.
At the age of 9, he started to record. Out of the four sides he cut, two were released: "She Makes Me Mad" backed with "It Should Have Been Me", with RCA-Victor in New York; the single was produced by Leroy Kirkland for Groove Records. As he has stated in an interview, Benson's introduction to showbusiness had an effect on his schooling; when this was discovered his guitar was impounded. Luckily, after he spent time in a juvenile detention centre his stepfather made him a new guitar.* Benson attended and graduated from Schenley High School. As a youth he learned how to play straight-ahead instrumental jazz during a relationship performing for several years with organist Jack McDuff. One of his many early guitar heroes was country-jazz guitarist Hank Garland. At the age of 21, he recorded his first album as The New Boss Guitar, featuring McDuff. Benson's next recording was It's Uptown with the George Benson Quartet, including Lonnie Smith on organ and Ronnie Cuber on baritone saxophone. Benson followed it up with The George Benson Cookbook with Lonnie Smith and Ronnie Cuber on baritone and drummer Marion Booker.
Miles Davis employed Benson in the mid-1960s, featuring his guitar on "Paraphernalia" on his 1968 Columbia release, Miles in the Sky before going to Verve Records. Benson signed with Creed Taylor's jazz label CTI Records, where he recorded several albums, with jazz heavyweights guesting, to some success in the jazz field, his 1974 release, Bad Benson, climbed to the top spot in the Billboard jazz chart, while the follow-ups, Good King Bad and Benson and Farrell, both reached the jazz top-three sellers. Benson did a version of The Beatles's 1969 album Abbey Road called The Other Side of Abbey Road released in 1969, a version of "White Rabbit" written and recorded by San Francisco rock group Great Society, made famous by Jefferson Airplane. Benson played on numerous sessions for other CTI artists during this time, including Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Turrentine, notably on the latter's acclaimed album Sugar. By the mid-to-late 1970s, as he recorded for Warner Bros. Records, a whole new audience began to discover Benson.
With the 1976 release Breezin', Benson sang a lead vocal on the track "This Masquerade", which became a huge pop hit and won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. The rest of the album is instrumental, including his rendition of the 1975 Jose Feliciano composition "Affirmation". In 1976, Benson toured with soul singer Minnie Riperton, diagnosed with terminal breast cancer earlier that year and, in addition, appeared as a guitarist and backup vocalist on Stevie Wonder's song "Another Star" from Wonder's album Songs in the Key of Life. During the same year, 1976, the top selling album'Breezin' was released on the Warner Brothers label featuring the Bobby Womack penned title track and the Leon Russell penned This Masquerade, now a jazz standard. Both tracks won Grammy awards that year and the LP put Benson into the musical limelight both in the USA and in Europe. Benson had been discouraged up until this time, from using his singing skills as the company decision makers felt he wasn't competent enough vocally, he should stick to playing the guitar.
It was here that he proved them wrong. He recorded the original version of "The Greatest Love of All" for the 1977 Muhammad Ali bio-pic, The Greatest, covered by Whitney Houston as "Greatest Love of All". During this time Benson recorded with the German conductor Claus Ogerman; the live take of "On Broadway", recorded a few months from the 1978 release Weekend in L. A. won a Grammy. He has worked with Freddie Hubbard on a number of his albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s; the Qwest record label released Benson's breakthrough pop album Give Me The Night, produced by Jones. Benson made it into the pop and R&B top ten with the song "Give Me the Night", he had many hit singles such as "Love All the Hurt Away", "Turn Your Love Around", "Inside Love", "Lady Love Me", "20/20", "Shiver", "Kisses in the Moonlight". More Quincy Jones encouraged Benson to search his roots for further vocal inspiration, he rediscovered his love for Nat Cole, Ray Ch