How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
This tenor summit took place in 1959, a very short while after the death of Lester Young. Ben Webster is joined by Coleman Hawkins and Budd Johnson, two of the remaining tenor greats of the time. Roy Eldridge is also along for the ride. The rhythm section consists of pianist Jimmy Jones, guitarist Les Spann, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Jo Jones. Except for the up-tempo numbers "De-Dar" and "Young Bean," the mood is as bluesy and laid-back as can be. A twenty-minute "In a Mellow Tone" leads off the record, and interestingly enough, Brown, Jones, and Spann all solo before the first tenor giant, Johnson, takes his turn. Webster doesn’t solo until nearly sixteen minutes in. In fact, he solos last on four of the five tracks. But when you’re Ben Webster, what’s the hurry?