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Album Review

Ben Webster: Ben Webster's First Concert in Denmark

Read "Ben Webster's First Concert in Denmark" reviewed by Chris Mosey


This is a small piece of jazz history. In January 1965, Ben Webster, newly arrived in Europe from America, was working out where to settle down. This concert shows why he decided on Copenhagen. The album starts with Webster making a point about the playing of his former boss Duke Ellington's “In A Mellotone." Webster argues his case on piano, an instrument he played well, while brusquely growling instructions to producer Børge Roger Henrichsen. There is a ...

6

Album Review

Ben Webster: In Norway

Read "In Norway" reviewed by Chris Mosey


Ben Webster refused to fly. When he visited Norway from Denmark, his adopted homeland, he went by boat and when he got there would blame his somewhat uncertain gait on his “sea legs," rather than the large amounts of alcohol he had consumed in the vessel's bar. Sometimes his “sea legs" were so bad, initial concerts had to be rescheduled. However, by 1970, when this date was recorded, Webster was 61 and slowing down just a little. ...

471

Film Review

Tenor Sax Legend: Live and Intimate

Read "Tenor Sax Legend: Live and Intimate" reviewed by Michael Steinman


Ben Webster Tenor Sax Legend: Live and Intimate Shanachie 2009

Although he looked like a frog or a bullmastiff (hence his nicknames Frog and The Brute), saxophonist Ben Webster was splendidly photogenic, his emotions nakedly on his face. This DVD brings together three concert performances and one documentary from his last decade in Europe. He purrs, snarls and moans with a rhythm trio, a big band, a string section, in a casual ...

709

Album Review

Ben Webster: Ben Webster: The Brute & The Beautiful

Read "Ben Webster: The Brute & The Beautiful" reviewed by Michael Steinman


Ben Webster (1909-73), perhaps the least acknowledged of the great jazz tenor saxophonists, was fortunate enough to have a varied 40-year recording career. His ballads were immensely tender and his blues and faster tunes could be nearly violent in their intensity. Hence the title of this two-disc set, a centennial issue that celebrates this musical duality. Webster's career found him in so many contexts (accompanying Billie Holiday, early and late; an integral member of the classic 1940-41 Ellington orchestra; leading ...

457

Album Review

Ben Webster: Centennial Celebration

Read "Centennial Celebration" reviewed by Martin Gladu


Remembered for his seminal solos on such classics as “Cotton Tail" and “All Too Soon" as much as for his historic clashes with boss Duke Ellington, hot-tempered saxophonist Ben Webster's legacy truly stands the test of time. The year 2009, being the centennial of the tenor titan's birth, Concord Records marks the occasion with this 9-track compilation taken from four different sessions spanning the years 1956 to 1963.Borrowed from Soulmates (Riverside, 1963)--his collaboration with Austrian piano whiz Joe ...

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Album Review

Ben Webster / Stan Tracey: Soho Nights, Vol. 1

Read "Soho Nights, Vol. 1" reviewed by Graham L. Flanagan


This month celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of jazz's titans: Ben Webster. His career spanned over 40 years, from being a journeyman in the Ellington orchestra to becoming one of that group's biggest stars and subsequently emerging as one of the most iconic figures of the tenor sax. On the heels of 2008's Dig Ben, Storyville's mammoth, eight-disc box set chronicling Webster's European years, British label Resteamed is rolling out a series of ...

362

Album Review

Ben Webster: Dig Ben!

Read "Dig Ben!" reviewed by Graham L. Flanagan


To have been young and Danish in the ‘60s! If you happened to live in Copenhagen during that period, then you had a strong chance of catching the great Ben Webster performing live in a random club, or perhaps on a radio broadcast. Webster sailed from New York to the Continent in 1964 and, after playing a club gig in London that led to subsequent European engagements, never again set foot on American soil. This set provides an ...


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