The album marked the beginning of Benson's most successful period commercially. Breezin' topped the Pop, Jazz and R&B album charts in Billboard and spun off two hit singles, the title song (which has become a smooth jazz standard) and "This Masquerade," which was a top ten pop and R&B hit. The album itself was certified triple Platinum by the RIAA.
In a contemporaneous review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a "C" and dismissed most of its music as "mush". In a retrospective review, Allmusic's Richard S. Ginell gave it three-and-a-half out of five stars and said that, although Benson's guitar is "as assured and fluid as ever", Breezin' is "really not so much a breakthrough as it is a transition album; the guitar is still the core of his identity."