177

Doug Webb: Midnight

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
If one is truly judged by the company they keep, then saxophonist Doug Webb is immediately well thought of, even before hearing his music. While Midnight marks his recorded debut as a leader, he's performed and/or recorded with a long list of jazz greats, including Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard and Billy Higgins, and appeared on over 150 jazz recordings. Though Webb isn't a household name, millions of people have heard his solos on the soundtracks for Clint Eastwood-directed films like Mystic River (2003) and Gran Torino (2008).

He brings his vast experience and alluring saxophone sound to the fore on this program of standards, with some support from top-notch players like bassist Stanley Clarke and pianist Larry Goldings. While every performance is well-crafted, Webb really seems to work best in ballad settings. His relationship with the piano is key to the success of these mellow performances. Webb and Goldings seem to complete each other's thoughts on "I'll Be Around," and the saxophonist is left alone to work things out without distraction with pianist Joe Bagg on "You Go To My Head." "Crazy She Calls Me" is another relaxed performance, though Clarke's solo adds some fireworks.

"Fly Me To The Moon" is given a gentle Brazilian treatment, with drummer Gerry Gibbs locking in the groove and holding things together when the steady melodic flow of the song dissolves, putting Clarke in the spotlight for a bit. While Webb manages to insert a few lively performances into the mix, as on the album opener "Try A Little Tenderness" and the waltzing interpretation of "The Boy Next Door"—featuring a killer solo from Mahesh Balasooriya on his only album appearance—the saxophonist returns to ballad territory to end things with a beautiful take on Johnny Mandel's "Emily." Gibbs is as supportive as ever, with his brushes controlling the time, as Webb, Clarke and Goldings deliver some A+ solo work. While it's tough to stand out with a standards-only record, Webb's solid saxophone work and the presence of some of jazz's best players help Midnight rise to the top.

Track Listing: Try a Little Tenderness; I'll Be Around; Fly Me to the Moon; You Go To My Head; The Boy Next Door; Crazy She Calls Me; Quasimodo; Emily.

Personnel: Doug Webb: saxophones; Larry Goldings: piano (2, 3, 6-8); Stanley Clarke: bass; Gerry Gibbs: drums; Joe Bagg: piano (1, 4); Mahesh Balasooriya: piano (5).

Title: Midnight | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Fast Friends

Fast Friends

Posi-Tone Records
2018

buy
Sets The Standard

Sets The Standard

V.S.O.P. Records
2016

buy
Bright Side

Bright Side

Posi-Tone Records
2016

buy
Back East

Back East

Posi-Tone Records
2015

buy
Doug Webb: Triple Play

Doug Webb: Triple Play

Posi-Tone Records
2015

buy
Triple Play

Triple Play

Posi-Tone Records
2015

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jul24Wed
Téka & Her Newbossa Quintet
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
Newport Beach, CA
$62,49,29

Related Articles

Read The Turning Album Reviews
The Turning
By Bruce Lindsay
July 20, 2019
Read Reveries and Revelations Album Reviews
Reveries and Revelations
By John Eyles
July 20, 2019
Read Live/Shapeshifter Album Reviews
Live/Shapeshifter
By Don Phipps
July 20, 2019
Read Vol 3 Album Reviews
Vol 3
By Phillip Woolever
July 20, 2019
Read First Nature Album Reviews
First Nature
By Troy Dostert
July 19, 2019
Read Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings Album Reviews
Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings
By Jakob Baekgaard
July 19, 2019
Read Perhaps Album Reviews
Perhaps
By Don Phipps
July 19, 2019