George Benson’s career spans nearly 50 years and encompasses many styles. ‘Absolute Benson’ represented on its release his best Jazz based set for ages. ‘Absolute Benson’ is mainly instrumental and loosely based upon the Smooth Jazz format, though it has some great Latin Jazz moments. The core quartet features George Benson, Joe Sample, Christian McBride and Steve Gadd. Sample wrote or co-wrote four of the songs including the highly melodic ‘Deeper Than You Think’. He also wrote the edgier ‘Hipping The Hop’. Benson’s Donny Hathaway vocal similarities surface on the recut of the latter’s ‘The Ghetto’. It is however George’s guitar/scat that impresses, as it does on the powerful Latino take on ‘the Ghetto’ then – ‘El Barrio’. On the smoother side of things, George’s interpretation of Marc Antoine’s ‘Jazzenco’ is jazzy and subtle. ‘Medicine Man’ sits between Fusion and Smooth Jazz, co-written by Joe Sample and George Benson, it is propelled by McBride’s urgent bass and Gadd’s shuffling rhythm patterns. Probably, ‘Absolute Benson’ is his finest album since ‘Give Me The Night’.