Premier smooth jazz guitarist George Benson has split from his record label.
After releasing four CDs with the GRP/Verve Music Group record label since 1996, guitarist George Benson and the label have parted in what the label called a mutual agreement.
Benson�s last CD for Verve, which is part of the Universal Music Company, was last year�s Irreplaceable. That CD was originally to be a collection of vocal tracks, but the singer and guitarist halted its release, at the request of the label, to rework the project to include three instrumental songs and create more of a smooth jazz flavor. In stepped uber-producer Paul Brown, and one of the two songs he produced, �Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise,� paid off. It topped the R&R smooth jazz chart for six weeks.
Irreplaceable followed Absolute Benson in 2000, Standing Together in 1998 and That�s Right in 1996, all of which went to No. 1 on Billboard�s contemporary jazz chart.
Benson also actually released a few albums for Verve in the 1960s before beginning associations with the A&M and Warner Bros. labels, among others.