All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

126

Joe Williams featuring Ben Webster: Havin' a Good Time

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
By Ted Kane

Over the years, I've come to be a bit skeptical of the "discovered" or "lost classic" type of record release. You know, the kind where the historical significance is trumpeted and the sound quality is at a subbootleg level. Most of the time, that stuff languished in a vault for a reason all those years. Still, when I heard about Havin' a Good Time, the only known pairing of the great jazz/blues singer and Basie alum Joe Williams with Duke Ellington's legendary tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, I was willing to suspend my disbelief.

Good thing, too, because Havin' a Good Time is the real deal for once. The sound is surprisingly clean and clear; Williams' rich voice jumps right out at you, and the mix is no worse than most live recordings from the early '60s. Williams had a fine band in tow, including drummer Mickey Roker, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and a consistently inspired Junior Mance on piano, for this date recorded on a cold night in Providence 43 years ago. Webster was in town on his own gig and apparently asked if he could sit in; I can only imagine that the band spent scant seconds in deliberation.

The performance offers no profound revelations, perhaps, but a swinging good time from start to finish. Williams and Webster were each among the finest interpreters of blues and ballads on their respective instruments and it is a pleasure to hear them together. Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves on stage, and their pleasure is infectious.


Track Listing: Sittin' Rockin'; Kansas City Blues; River St. Marie; That's All; Alone Together; I'm Through; Great City; 100 Years; Ain't Misbehavin'; Honeysuckle Rose; Alright, OK; Havin' a Good Time.

Personnel: Joe Williams: vocals; Junior Mance: piano; Mickey Roker: drums; Ben Webster: tenor saxophone; Bob Cranshaw: bass.

Title: Havin' a Good Time | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Hyena Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Everyday I Have the Blues

Everyday I Have the...

Roulette Jazz
2007

buy
Music for Lovers

Music for Lovers

Blue Note Records
2007

buy
Havin' a Good Time

Havin' a Good Time

Hyena Records
2005

buy
 

Sings About You! /...

Kedar Entertainment Group
2004

buy
 

Together / Have A...

Kedar Entertainment Group
2001

buy
 

At Newport '63

Kedar Entertainment Group
2001

buy

Related Articles

Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Ain't It Grand? CD/LP/Track Review
Ain't It Grand?
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 25, 2018
Read If Not Now, When? CD/LP/Track Review
If Not Now, When?
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Perfectly Unhappy CD/LP/Track Review
Perfectly Unhappy
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Sorrows & Triumphs CD/LP/Track Review
Sorrows & Triumphs
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 27, 2017
Read "Cut The Dead Some Slack" CD/LP/Track Review Cut The Dead Some Slack
by Doug Collette
Published: March 25, 2018
Read "Rush" CD/LP/Track Review Rush
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Walkin' On Air" CD/LP/Track Review Walkin' On Air
by Tyran Grillo
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Genuinity" CD/LP/Track Review Genuinity
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 31, 2018
Read "Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The...
by Doug Collette
Published: April 3, 2018