George Benson

6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2. Shaw Park, (South Brentwood and Forsyth Boulevards)

As an ace jazz guitarist with a husky, syncopated voice, George Benson straddled the line between Quiet Storm R&B and adult contemporary during the mid-'70s and early '80s. His singles from that era sound both of the time and utterly ageless: "Turn Your Love Around" predated the Police's "Roxanne," with its profession of love for a working girl; "Give Me the Night" shimmers with the electric pulse of anticipation; and his live recording of "On Broadway" has become the definitive version of the classic. While Benson has worked his way back into the jazz world over the past few decades, he most recently partnered with fellow pop-soul crossover Al Jarreau on Givin' It Up. The album revisits Benson's hit "Breezin'" alongside covers of Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze" and Darryl Hall's "Every Time You Go Away," adding some soulful crooning and smooth-jazz instrumentation to these soft-rock classics. Benson performs as part of the Saint Louis Jazz & Heritage Festival.

 
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