Benson attended and graduated Schenley High School.As a youth, instead, 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 leader, , featuring McDuff.Benson's next recording was , including Lonnie Smith on organ and Ronnie Cuber onbaritone saxophone.Benson followed it up with , also 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, before going to Verve Records.
Benson then signed with Creed Taylor's jazz label CTI Records, where he recorded several albums, with jazz heavyweights guesting, to some success, mainly in the jazz field. His 1974 release, , climbed to the top spot in the jazz chart, while the follow-ups, (#51 Pop album) and (with Joe Farrell), both reached the jazz top-three sellers. Benson also did a version of The Beatles's 1969 album called , also released in 1969, and a version of "White Rabbit", originally written and recorded by San Francisco rock group Great Society, and 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 .
Benson is a devout Jehovah's Witness and has been married to Johnnie Lee since 1965. Citing his faith, Benson describes his music as focusing more on love and romance, rather than sexuality.
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Legend R & B
Release Date: August 25, 2014