AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Pure Pleasure / Warners PPAN BSK2983 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
AAA 100% Analogue - Pressed at Pallas Germany - Limited Edition
Audiophile Mastered by Ray Staff at Air London - Warner Brothers BSK 2983
The highlight of In Flight is the impeccable re-mastering to audiophile vinyl. Benson’s soothing voice is captures with glowing tonality. The stereo mix is even. The ever-present orchestra is maintained at an appropriate level and doesn’t overwhelm the vocals and guitar. The high-gloss gatefold is top-notch.Audiophile Audition
Re-mastering by: Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Simply one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history, George Benson is an amazingly versatile musician, whose adept skills find him crossing easily between straight-ahead jazz, smooth jazz, and contemporary R&B. Blessed with supreme taste, a beautiful, rounded guitar tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing, Benson's inspirations may have been Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery, but his style is completely his own. Not only can he play lead brilliantly, he is also one of the best rhythm guitarists around, supportive to soloists and a dangerous swinger, particularly in a soul-jazz format. Yet Benson can also sing in a lush, soulful tenor with mannerisms similar to those of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, and it is his voice that has proven more marketable to the public than his guitar. Benson is the guitar-playing equivalent of Nat King Cole -- a fantastic pianist whose smooth way with a pop vocal eventually eclipsed his instrumental prowess in the marketplace -- but unlike Cole, Benson has been granted enough time after his fling with the pop charts to reaffirm his jazz guitar credentials, which he still does at his concerts.
In the wake of "This Masquerade," the balance of power shifted for the first time toward George Benson's suddenly marketable voice; four of the six tracks on In Flight are vocals. By this time, Benson was tailoring his tenor toward soulful pitch-bending à la Stevie Wonder on tunes as diverse as "Nature Boy" and "The World Is a Ghetto," and the unison scatting with the guitar that caught fire with the public on Masquerade is now pulled out whenever possible. Benson's backing band from Breezin', still set in its funk mode, is intact, and Claus Ogerman again contributes gentle orchestral cushions. The two instrumentals, particularly Donny Hathaway's "Valdez in the Country," prove that Benson remained a brilliantly inventive melodist on guitar, in full possession of his powers. Yet there is every indication here that Benson was set upon becoming primarily a pop star.
Jazz guitarist’s foray into pop sounds great on re-mastered vinyl.
As the rock era waned in the seventies, many other genres were waiting in the wings. Funk, punk, reggae and heavy metal emerged with an unexpected return to elaborate studio production. A lot of the inspiration for this came from the renewed interest in dance, especially the disco phenomenon. Artists gleefully jumped on the bandwagon, including jazz artists like George Benson. Benson came to prominence as a twenty-one year old guitarist with Jack McDuff. He eventually fronted his own band and recorded for CTI. But when he signed with Warner Brothers, he released the Grammy-winning album, Breezin’ , that including the hit crossover single, “Masquerade”. Now the veteran guitarist was a bona fide popular singer. This transition defined his future career path.
Pure Pleasure Records has re-mastered Benson’s 1977 release In Flight to 180-gram vinyl. The audio results are excellent, with highly-developed lush instrumentations and arrangements. Side One opens with the Nat “King” Cole surprising 1947 hit, “Nature Boy”. Like that version, this re-make is awash in gossamer strings (especially in counterpoint) to underscore the classical undertones. At times utilizing vocalese with guitar, Benson’s soulful vocals (he was compared to Stevie Wonder) are accessible and buoyed by synthesizer riffs and Ronnie Foster’s electric piano solo. The band covers a Foster composition (“The Wind And I/AKA Hot Stuff) as the disco show rolls on. Benson is prominently featured on guitar with trademark, fluid play. When the side finishes with the War funk-rock classic, “The World Is A Ghetto”, the exorbitant orchestration feels out of place and the urban anger is missing. The song’s captivating melody is approximated, but the break lacks urgency.
Side Two continues the musical concept with some minor adjustments. “Gonna Love You More” is a laid-back pop-soul ballad with subtle funk undercurrents. Jorge Dalto adds a smooth piano solo and the arrangement benefits from flutes and percussion. Escaping from the vocal formulations, “Valdez In The Country” is the album’s lone instrumental. The Jobim/Deodato-inspired Latin vibe is refreshing. Benson shines on guitar, and the band peels off into contemporary jazz mode. The big finish is a gospel-tinged ballad (“Everything Must Change”) that runs a bit long.
The highlight of In Flight is the impeccable re-mastering to audiophile vinyl. Benson’s soothing voice is captures with glowing tonality. The stereo mix is even. The ever-present orchestra is maintained at an appropriate level and doesn’t overwhelm the vocals and guitar. The high-gloss gatefold is top-notch. It is a glimpse into 1977 musical culture.
George Benson, lead guitar, vocals
Stanley Banks, bass
Jorge Dalto, clavinet, acoustic piano
Harvey Mason, drums
Ronnie Foster, electric piano, synthesizer (mini-moog)
Ralph MacDonald, percussion
Phil Upchurch, rhythm guitar, bass (B2, B3)
Claus Ogerman, conductor, orchestra arrangements
1. Nature Boy
2. The Wind and I
3. The World Is A Ghetto
4. Gonna Love You More
5. Valdez In the Country
6. Everything Must Change
Recorded in 1977 at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California
Recorded & Mixed by Al Schmitt
Engineer (Assistant), Don Henderson
Produced by Tommy Lipuma
Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by Claus Ogerman
Pure Pleasure Records
The Restoration of the Art of Sound
180g Vinyl Mastered From The Best Available Sources
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records. During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production. To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.
There really is nothing quite like it. It’s the touch, the feel, you have to stop and stare, the cover, the real thing, even the smell.
Its tangible, you can feel it, see it, study it, muse/dream over it, it’s real, someone has spent hours and hours over its construction and presentation. Pure Pleasure Records is just that, Pure Pleasure and that is what it has set out to be.
The music and the physical record. Something to keep, treasure, admire and above all enjoy.Of course with vinyl it’s not just a record, it’s the cover, the sleeve notes, you are holding a unique package, produced by craftsmen.
Pure Pleasure Records bring you vinyl albums of quality Jazz - Blues - R+B - Soul - Funk, remastered by some of the best engineers in the world and pressed on 180 gram audiophile vinyl at what is probably the best pressing plant in Europe
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering
Plated and Pressed at Pallas in Germany on 180 Gram Virgin Vnyl
Released in Limited Quantities
Audiophile Vinyl - Made in Germany For over 60 years the family business in the third generation of the special personal service and quality "Made by Pallas" is known worldwide. Our custom PVC formulation produces consistently high pressing quality with the lowest surface noise in the industry. Our PVC complies with 2015 European environmental standards and does not contain toxic materials such as Lead, Cadmium or Toluene. Our vinyl is both audiophile and eco-grade!