177

Doug Webb: Midnight

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Doug Webb: Midnight 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).

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


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Outside In" CD/LP/Track Review Outside In
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Special Night" CD/LP/Track Review Special Night
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Better By Far" CD/LP/Track Review Better By Far
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 17, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!