Ben Webster – King of the Tenors

Artist: BEN WEBSTER
Album: king of the tenors
Label: Verve
Format: MP3@320 kbps
Sound Quality: FULL
Size: 83 MBTime 39:23
Type: Album
Country: USA
Release Date: 1953
Genre: JAZZ
By 1953, Ben Webster had carved out his own niche in the world of jazz (and certainly in the world of saxophone). Early in his career, the tenor man was under the spell of Coleman Hawkins and some critics considered him a mere copy. However, by the ’50s, Webster had formed his own idiom. Still showing his roots, Webster nonetheless began to play with more flexible phrasing and a unique breathy tone. Uptempo numbers were intense yet controlled, and his ballad work (probably his greatest asset) was lyrical and more emotional than that of any of his contemporaries.
On KING OF THE TENORS we hear Webster in two different versions of the Oscar Peterson Quartet. The first setting features only one horn (Webster), the second session features legends Harry «Sweets» Edison (trumpet) and Benny Carter (alto sax) in addition to Webster. This reissue includes a previously unreleased version of «Poutin» as well as superb renditions of standard tunes «Tenderly,» «Don’t Get Around Any More,» and the lovely Irish traditional «Danny Boy.»

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Tracklist:
 01. Tenderly
 02. Jive At Six
 03. Don’t Get Around Much Any More
 04. That’s All
 05. Bounce Blues
 06. Pennies From Heaven
 07. Cotton Tail
 08. Danny Boy
 09. Poutin’
 10. Bounce Blues (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)

 11. That’s All (Single Version)

Personnel:
 Ben Webster (tenor saxo)
 Benny Carter (alto saxo)
 Harry «Sweets» Edison (trumpet)
 Oscar Peterson (piano)
 Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis (guitar)
 Ray Brown (bass)
 J.C. Heard, Alvin Stoller (drums)
This 1953 date matched Webster with such peers as alto saxophonist Benny Carter, trumpeter Harry Edison, and pianist Oscar Peterson for a series of elegant yet soulful and exuberant small group dates. With no cut longer than four and a half minutes, the players didn’t have time for excess statements or overkill; they had to quickly get to the heart of the matter in their solos, make their points, and return to the head. The original session has been enlarged by the addition of two previously unissued tracks, plus an alternate version of «That’s All» that was later issued as a single. Label head Norman Granz excelled in producing swing-oriented, crisply played mainstream dates. Although this date is more than four decades old, Ben Webster’s solos have a freshness and vitality that make them quite relevant to contemporary events.

by Ron Wynn

Courtesy All Music

It was the critic Leonard Feather who dubbed Ben Webster «the Clark Gable of the tenor saxophone, at once a brute and a hero». The opening two tracks of this 1953 vintage recording proves the point with a breathy, caressing «Tenderly» followed by an up-tempo «Jive At Six» with Webster sinking his teeth into the reed to produce an urgent, gutsy sound. The album couples the first two sessions Webster did for Verve producer Norman Granz, who made sure that the tenor saxophonist had colleagues of an equal stature. On all 11 tracks Webster is backed by the Oscar Peterson Trio plus a drummer and on five of them he is joined by Harry Edison and Benny Carter for some excellent mainstream jazz. The album contains the previously unissued minor key blues «Poutin'» and two takes each of «Bounce Blues» and a gorgeous ballad, «That’s All». Webster was a unique player who had complete control of the tenor and was capable of bringing his sound down to a whisper and then allowing it to die away leaving just a vibrating column of air in the instrument. This album demonstrates the artistry of a true giant at peak form. –Steve Voce

Posted on Σεπτεμβρίου 16, 2011, in BEN WEBSTER, JAZZ, TENOR SAX. Bookmark the permalink. 1 σχόλιο.

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