The R&B elements get stronger, the sound and mix are more attuned to the dancefloor, yet this brings out the best in George Benson's funky side. Thanks in part to the more rigid beat, Benson pares down his style to its rhythmic essentials, refusing to spray notes all over the place at random, and as a result, the record cooks and dances. His treatment of Vince Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," hugely complemented by Joe Farrell's wistfully prancing flute, is a mini-masterpiece in the use of space, of hitting exactly the right stabbing note right in the pocket.
Whether he gets (enough) credit or not from jazz heads, guitarist George Benson certainly created the template for smooth jazz , with 1975's Good King Bad a perfect example of the style in its infant stages. Benson combines his classy, Wes Montgomery-inspired guitar style with funky material ("Hold On I'm Coming"), yearning balladry ("Cast Your Fate To the Wind"), plush arrangements, and, on one song, buttery vocals for a classic slice of easygoing jazz.
When this album was released in 1975 by Paul Bley's Improvising Artists label, the seven selections had been previously unheard. The five pieces from Mar. 9, 1964 (which feature pianist Bley, tenor-saxophonist John Gilmore, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian) were later released in a more complete form on the Savoy LP Turns. This was a unique onetime encounter between the innovative Bley (whose lyrical approach to free form improvising was quite different than that used by the high-energy players of the time) and Sun Ra's longtime tenor John Gilmore; "Ida Lupino" is the most memorable of these tracks. In addition there are a couple of trio performances ("Mr. Joy" and "Kid Dynamite") from a May 10, 1964 concert with bassist Peacock and drummer Billy Elgart that have not been released elsewhere. Very interesting if not quite essential music.
Although the late '90s apparently saw the end of Gary Glitter's career, following his conviction for sexual offenses, there is no doubting that for a full 25 years before that tragic denouement, Glitter ranked among Britain's best-loved performers of all time. The hits which catapulted him to fame in the early '70s, the anthemic "Rock and Roll" of course, but also the likes of "I'm the Leader of the Gang," "Do You Wanna Touch Me," and "I Love You Love Me Love," still have the capacity to stir an audience – as "Rock and Roll" itself proves, every time it airs at a major sporting event in the U.S.