If you thought George Benson was just a cheesy, smooth jazz crooner and guitar riffer, then think again baby. This album demonstrates George’s credentials as THE BEST jazz guitarist ever (back in the day – of course nowadays he sucks!)! It's Uptown remains a germinal jazz guitar album. Columbia/Legacy reissued the 1966 classic in 2001, with five bonus tracks appended to the original 11-track program. Benson's guitar playing is drenched in bebop, but also strongly influenced by R&B and soul music, as is his quartet's sound overall. And the three vocal cuts -- "Summertime," "A Foggy Day," "Stormy Weather" -- foretell Benson's well-deserved success as an R&B and pop singer. Lonnie Smith's organ and Ronnie Cuber's baritone sax provide the group with an unmistakable signature sound, perhaps dated at first blush, but timeless in actuality. Bonus tracks include the previously unreleased "J.H. Bossa Nova," alternates of "Clockwise" and "Eternally," and two cuts from Finger Lickin' Good, Lonnie Smith's album of the same year, featuring Cuber on tenor, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, and Charlie Persip on drums. "Sideman" stands up as a prescient kind of world music -- Horace Silver meets Santana. [The 2001 CD reissue on Columbia/Legacy adds five bonus tracks. Three of these -- an alternate take of "Clockwise," a short version of "Eternally," and "J.H. Bossa Nova" -- were recorded in 1966, and previously unreleased. The other two are taken from Lonnie Smith's 1967 album Finger Lickin' Good Soul Organ, on which Benson plays.] ~ David R. Adler, All Music Guide Sorry, no artwork!!!