Both Minnie Ripperton and George Benson received deserved standing ovations after their stellar performances at a packed Merriweather Post Pavilion Saturday night.
Ripperton, who last performed in the area in April at Painter's Mill, included selections from earlier albums and more recent ones in her lineup. She used her incredible eight-octave range to wrap around such numbers as "Come Inside My Love," and "Loving You." Although Ripperton's records are now played on pop stations and she has gained acceptability as a crossover artist, her five-person backup group had a noticeable hard-rock sound.
Grammy Award winner George Benson has come a long way in the past 18 months. For years the veteran jazz guitarist was known as "the guy who plays like Wes Montgomery." Now, thanks to the success of his hit single. "This Masquerade," the album "Breezin'" and his emergence as a vocalist, Benson nolonger has the obstacle of relative obscurity.
In addition to these hits, Benson accompanied himself on "The Greatest Love of All," his latest single which he performs in the film, "Thre Greatest." Benson displayed his jazz roots in an extended version of Paul Desmond's "Take Five."
The audience got a special treat when Benson and Ripperton teamed up at the end for Errol Garner's "Misty."