George Benson: Body Talk Freddie Hubbard: Straight Life
Hubert Laws: In the Beginning Stanley Turrentine: Don't Mess With Mister T

CTI continues to roll out re-issues to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Here's the latest four--and what they have to say for themselves:

George Benson took a turn towards R&B with Body Talk. The release climbed the Billboard jazz chart to #10 in 1973, which was an early indication of Benson's successful move into soulful pop. All Music Guide said "It should come as no surprise by now that this formidable guitarist has no problem handling any kind of groove … Earl Klugh has a few tasty moments on his own, and there are some reconnaissance flights back to the jazz side of George, which he handles with his usual confident aplomb." This release also includes an alternate take of the title track.

A Grammy nominee for Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist, Hubert Laws' In the Beginning is considered to be the best album of his career. According to The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, "it is a good, expansive representation of his flute-playing." All Music Guide calls the album "Hubert Laws at his finest. The music ranges from classical-oriented pieces to straight-ahead jazz with touches of '70s funk included in the mix … Whether it be in works by Satie or Sonny Rollins, this recording is one of the most rewarding of Hubert Laws' career."

Freddie Hubbard's Straight Life (1971), which hit #5 on the Billboard jazz chart, was released between his signature hits Red Clay and First Light, but All Music Guide hails the album as "arguably Hubbard's greatest recording … frequently astounding … essential for all serious jazz collections." Joining Hubbard are tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, guitarist George Benson, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The memorable set is rounded off by the trumpeter's duet with Benson on a lyrical version of the ballad "Here's That Rainy Day."

Stanley Turrentine's Don't Mess with Mister T was another artistic triumph for the sax legend in his year with CTI. In 1975, the recording reached #2 on the Billboard jazz chart. "What first leaps out and grabs the listener's attention is Turrentine's sweet yet muscular sound…" David H. Rosenthal wrote in his book Hard Bop. "A flexible voice, it can deepen to a resonant honk, soar into one of the most piercingly full-throated cries in jazz, and broaden to a thick, sensuous vibrato on ballads. Turrentine tends to play on top of the beat, making for a deep, trancelike groove, and his phrasing draws on both modern jazz and R&B." The release includes three bonus tracks available on CD for the first time in the U.S.: an alternate version of the title track, "Mississippi City Strut" and "Harlem Dawn."

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