George Benson certainly is a good soul vocalist, fervently turning every phrase as if he meant every lovelorn syllable. The bright spots on 20/20 are the tense high-tech title track and an elegant Basie-like treatment of "Beyond the Sea," with several jazz luminaries in the all-star band and Frank Foster and Ralph Burns handling the chart. There is only one instrumental, "Stand Up."
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Amazing small group work from Ralph Burns – a real standout, given the amount of his larger ensemble sessions in the 50s! The album features Burns on piano – overdubbed on some tracks – working with a combo that includes Jimmy Raney on guitar, Clyde Lombardi on bass, and Osie Johnson on drums – all gently modern players who fit perfectly with Ralph's vision for the record. Things aren't as dark or as arch as on some of Burns' bigger dates of the decade – almost a bit warm at times, especially thanks to Ralph's piano lines. Titles include "Autobahn Blues", "Echo Of Spring", "Spring Sequence", "Spring", "Spring Is Here", and "Gina".
"Chromaticism presents my vision of contemporary West Coast blues, with a sense of place, humor, and a dose of jazz. I feature the “big harp:” the chromatic harmonica rarely exploited in blues. My originals reflect my own experiences and outlook. I choose covers that I can sing with conviction, by artists I admire, and that convey elegance and style…"