George Benson and Earl Klugh Unplugged

This video is great. It’s one of the few videos where George is playing without a full band. The video is George and Earl Klugh being interviewed on the Today Show by Bryant Gumbel back in the late 80s. They also play a beautiful short version of the tune “Mimosa” which was on their album called “Collaboration”. I highly recommend you buy this album, too.


So here’s what I’d like you to do. Watch the video and listen to the interview carefully. What did you learn from what George and Earl discuss that can improve your jazz guitar playing? Add a comment below and let me know what you think.  I’ll add another post with my thoughts.  Thanks.





16 thoughts on “George Benson and Earl Klugh Unplugged”

  1. Hi Leon
    Both humble gentleman.
    They both spoke articulately about “making compromises” with the music for the good of the song.
    For me, a good lesson on the importance of undertanding chords and scales in order to allow space for others to express their harmonic ideas and take a song in new directions.

  2. Hello, Leon

    You have gotten yourself a really fine website. Loved your latest Earl Klugh/George Benson clip.

  3. I love Jazz but I find myself playing a little classical Guitar everynow and then. I have transcriptions at home. I am interested in acquiring an electric/acoustic nylon string guitar at a reasonable price. I am finding it hard to get a good one. It is hard to mix the styles. You end up having to pick a direction and sticking to it.

  4. Thanks for that…It shows , as we guitar buffs well know that when you put an ace chordal man with an ace lead man together sparks fly and tunes take on lofty positions…a simple statement goes a long way .

  5. Those two guitarist are the reason I started playing guitar! Two “Great Masters”of our time! Thank you for posting!

  6. I had the opportunity to meet George in 2001 here in Dallas, TX very humble and I love the man. I do have this album and Earl is a very fine acoustic player love his work.

    Leon Thanks for the post !

  7. Hello Leon:
    Thanks for the post,two real good guitarist expressing their harmonic ideas in their craft! I’m working on a new jazz CD right now, hope to finish within the next 2 years.

  8. Thanks very much Leon!! This is probably my favorite George B album I listen to it even now 5-6 times a week. I too fell in love with the guitar listening to George Benson. One of the best concerts i ever been to was a Benson concert and i see him every year he performs in L. A. I could watch this video and never get tired of it. Once again thanks and Bless you for sharing.

  9. Leon, how can i thank u ? i don’t know, i mean i’m short of words now. thank you- thank you- thank you- thank you. you are my greatest teacher. i’ve learnt so much from you

  10. Hi Leon
    Question…when George says that he is interested in what Earl does Harmonically . Is he refering to scale choices ? Chords and Arpegios ?….I guess you really have to disect the chord progression and what is played over what chords and I’m not that advanced for that…from the interview I did learn that , it is very important to listen and give space to the person your playing with so to feed ideas off each other…
    thanks Leon

  11. Hi everybody in the summer of 1976 i was sitting in a club in philly called Just Jazz watching George Benson and company throw down. I haven’t been the same since. On his break i meet him and we shook hands I needed a transfer of his magic to me. Over the years studying and performing people say that my playing is George like that’s a compliment that i attribute to that meeting with my mentor in 1976. THANK YOU GEORGE FOR YOUR ARTISTRY AND YOUR SPIRIT BLESS YOU MY FRIEND.

  12. Thanks Leon,
    The statement that George makes about when Earl is playing the classical guitar “I believe every note you play” is so deep. So many players are trying to be somebody else because they think that is where the money is and maybe so; But they lose their own soul in the process. I don’t consider my self that great of a player but I got great encouragement when I heard Phil Keaggy say essentially the same thing. If your not a complex player [jazz, rock, etc] don’t worry about it. Play what you play well.” I am a melody player and compose mostly on that basis. My recent project turned out very well because I didn’t try to be something I am not. I learn from others but in the end it must build and compliment the me that I am supposed to be.

  13. A modern day wise-man I listen to says, “if we are both the same, one of us is unnecessary!” Thanks for your site, I used a couple things I learned here on my new project.

  14. Hello Leon,
    This clip is an inspiration to all lovers of jazz guitar.
    Thank you for providing the opportunity to hear two of the greats.

  15. Leon,

    Thanks for posting the wonderful video! The record that this song is on has inspired me more than any other. Their musicianship humbles me. I’m 17 and making my first record, and I hope that someday I can create music as beautiful as they do.

  16. Hi Leon
    I never really liked effects on my guitar unless it is totally necessary,seeing and hearing my two favorite guitarist put areal joy in my heart so thanks.

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