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MUSICIAN Born:

Ben Webster

Ben Webster was considered one of the "big three" of swing tenors along with Coleman Hawkins (his main influence) and Lester Young. He had a tough, raspy, and brutal tone on stomps (with his own distinctive growls) yet on ballads he would turn into a pussy cat and play with warmth and sentiment. After violin lessons as a child, Webster learned how to play rudimentary piano (his neighbor Pete Johnson taught him to play blues). But after Budd Johnson showed him some basics on the saxophone, Webster played sax in the Young Family Band (which at the time included Lester Young). He had stints with Jap Allen and Blanche Calloway (making his recording debut with the latter) before joining Bennie Moten's Orchestra in time to be one of the stars on a classic session in 1932. Webster spent time with quite a few orchestras in the 1930s (including Andy Kirk, Fletcher Henderson in 1934, Benny Carter, Willie Bryant, Cab Calloway, and the short-lived Teddy Wilson big band). In 1940 (after short stints in 1935 and 1936), Ben Webster became Duke Ellington's first major tenor soloist

ARTICLE: RADIO

Newk, Dave (And Paul), Fats & More

Read "Newk, Dave (And Paul), Fats & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Have you gotten used to writing or typing 2020 yet? I'm getting there just from filling out Gift and Messages paperwork and metadata! But let's get to the music, starting with a few 21st century tunes from Orrin Evans (putting the street beat to Ornette), trumpeter John McNeil and Russian saxophonist Makar Kashitsyn. Then Bobby Broom ...

Ben Webster's First Concert in Denmark

Label: Storyville Records
Released: 2019
Track listing: In A Mellotone (rehearsal); Pennies From Heaven; Blues In B-Flat; My Romance; In A Mellotone; Over The Rainbow; Cotton Tail.

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Vilnius Jazz 2019

Read "Vilnius Jazz 2019" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Vilnius Jazz 2019 Russian Drama Theatre jny:Vilnius, Lithuania October 16-20, 2019 Is a jazz festival primarily about entertainment, or is it meant to challenge the expectations of its audience? Does programming risk mean financial suicide? What responsibility does a festival have to promote young, emerging talent? What place do women ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Murley: Taking Flight

Read "Taking Flight" reviewed by Don Phipps

Mike Murley's Taking Flight is a candlelight romance of well-chosen covers and two original compositions. At times, Murley's sax sound is slightly reminiscent of Ben Webster while, when he plays ballads, one can hear echoes of John Coltrane. In short, his sound is sweet and warm. Combining this sound with the elegant contributions of his bandmates ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Houston Person: I'm Just a Lucky So and So

Read "I'm Just a Lucky So and So" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Perhaps tenor saxophonist Houston Person is indeed A Lucky So and So, as he professes on his newly recorded album of that name, but it has taken far more than luck to sustain a long and successful career that spans more than half a century and numbers more than sixty albums as leader of his own ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Hendriksen: / Fabian Gisler: The Song Is You

Read "The Song Is You" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Try as you might, you can't help but sing along, I got to get my old tuxedo pressed/I got to sew a button on my vest/'Cause tonight I gotta look my best, yeah/Lulu's back in town. Saxophonist Alex Hendriksen and bassist Fabian Gisler's rendition of “Lulu's Back in Town" may take you back to Leon Redbone's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Somersaults: Numerology Of Birdsong

Read "Numerology Of Birdsong" reviewed by John Sharpe

Without fanfare, the rhythm section of bassist Olie Brice and drummer Mark Sanders has become one of the UK's premier engine-rooms for free improvisation. That's borne out by association with not only the great reedman Tobias Delius, perhaps best known for his tenure in the ICP Orchestra, but also players as diverse as Polish reedman Mikolaj ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Freddie Hubbard and Bennie Moten

Read "Freddie Hubbard and Bennie Moten" reviewed by Joe Dimino

Beginning show number 608 with some Latin flair and doing those honors is veteran trombone cat Wayne Wallace with the tune “All The Things You Are" off his latest 2019 CD Rhythm of Invention. From that rousing point, we go into Freddie Hubbard, then Akiko Hamilton Dechter “Moment's Notice" and the great Ben Webster. We profile ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Ballantine: Cold Coffee

Read "Cold Coffee" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Indianapolis-born jazz guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine has a special relationship with American music of all kinds: jazz, folk, the blues (his father was a blues guitarist, providing some of Ballantine's earliest musical memories) and contemporary rock. His previous album Life Is Brief: The Music Of Bob Dylan (Green Mind Records, 2018) made the inspiration outside of jazz ...


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