Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster had known each other since the 1940s and occasionally played together when they both lived in Copenhagen during the 1960s, but regrettably, there's little recorded documentation of the saxmen sharing the stage. Thanks to the Danish Storyville label, Tenor Titans gives listeners a rare chance to hear them forming a two-tenor front line. And the two prove to be a most exciting combination on "In A Mellotone," "Perdido" and "C-Jam Blues," all of which were recorded live in Denmark in 1969 (and all of which came from Duke Ellington's repertoire). It's easy telling Gordon and Webster apart Webster's breathy sound was a product of swing, whereas the equally distinctive Gordon owed a lot to Charlie Parker and bebop.
Other songs on Tenor Titans find them playing separately in 1972 (the year before Webster died). Gordon is in fine form on "Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me" and his own "Sticky Wicket," while Webster delivers a soulful "Our Love Is Here To Stay." Without a doubt, this CD is acoustic jazz heaven.
Reprinted with the permission of Myrna Daniels and L.A. Jazz Scene , the largest jazz publication in Southern California.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.