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Backgrounder: Ben Webster - King of the Tenors


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Too often we think of the post-war tenor saxophone revolution as being solely in the hands of the tough Coleman Hawkins and laid back Lester Young. There actually was a third revolutionary in the mix—Ben Webster.

The breathy Ellingtonian swinger had a gruffer sound than Prez but was more romantic and seductive than Hawk. And while Webster didn't have many followers who imitated his approach, he was still a vibrant force, influencing players such as Lucky Thompson and Jimmy Forrest. 

A great entry point for Webster is an album he recorded for Verve in 1953 with assorted players. Known originally as The Consummate Artistry of Ben Webster when released in 1954, the album was reissued in 1957 as King of the Tenors.  

Here's the complete King of the Tenors without ad interruptions...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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Track Listing

King Of The Tenors; Tenderly; Jive At Six; Don't Get Around Much Anymore; That's All; Bounce Blues; Pennies From Heaven; Cottontail; Danny Boy; The Soul Of Ben Webster; Fajista; Chelsea Bridge; Charlotte's Piccolo; Coal Train; When I Fall In Love; Ev's Mad; Ash.


Ben Webster
saxophone, tenor
Art Farmer
Herb Ellis
Benny Carter
saxophone, alto
Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Barney Kessel
guitar, electric

Album information

Title: King Of The Tenors - The Soul Of Ben Webster | Year Released: 1992 | Record Label: Verve Records





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