Ben Webster meets Oscar Peterson {Verve} “Master Edition”


Review by Stephen Cook (allmusic.com)

Another fine Webster release on Verve that sees the tenor great once again backed by the deluxe Oscar Peterson Trio. In keeping with the high standard of their Soulville collaboration of two years prior, Webster and the trio — Peterson is joined by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen — use this 1959 date to conduct a clinic in ballad playing. And while Soulville certainly ranks as one of the tenor saxophonist’s best discs, the Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson set gets even higher marks for its almost transcendent marriage of after-hours elegance and effortless mid-tempo swing — none of Webster’s boogie-woogie piano work to break up the mood here. Besides reinvigorating such lithe strollers as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (nice bass work by Brown here) and “This Can’t Be Love,” Webster and company achieve classic status for their interpretation of the Sinatra gem “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” And to reassure Peterson fans worried about scant solo time for their hero, the pianist lays down a healthy number of extended runs, unobtrusively shadowing Webster’s vaporous tone and supple phrasing along the way. Not only a definite first-disc choice for Webster newcomers, but one of the jazz legend’s all-time great records.

Tracks:
01 – The Touch of Your Lips
02 – When Your Lover has Gone
03 – Bye-bye, Blackbird
04 – How Deep Is the Ocean?
05 – In the Wee, Small Hours of the Morning
06 – Sunday
07 – This Can’t Be Love

Personnel:
Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
Oscar Peterson – piano
Ray Brown – bass
Ed Thigpen – drums

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, scans

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Charlie Parker – Jam Session {Verve}


Review by “Jazzcat Stef” (amazon.com)

This is an absolutly marvellous example of what Jazz was and still should be (not because it’s more mainstream than bebop, in any case I love them both). The joy of playing with friends on common grounds, the standards and blues repertoire. I think I own everything Bird has ever played/released or at least I come really near. All the Dial, Savoy, Verve, Benedetti recordings, Bird’s Eyes, Live & Broadcasts, Blue Note concerts, recent discoveries, almost everything (more than 150 cds). This album cannot be considered a pure Bird album because he shared the scene with a lot of other sax stars which gave the session a different feeling from a lot of Bird’s records. I mean that this album is more Jazz “the Kansas City way” than bebop. It is a session more traditional than bebop. The only true beboppers are Bird, Kessel and Peterson (and Brown of course). The others, Webster, Hodges, Carter etc are more traditional than strictly bebop so the overall sound is more on that side of course. But it’s not a complaint, only an obvious consideration. The album is really fresh and entertaining, you can compar eit to a lot of JATP sessions in a sense. So it’s not a “revolutionary” album, not one that set a standard or that marked a change in Jazz history, nevertheless it’s essential in its way. It is a perect representation of what Jazz was more at Lester Young time than Bird time, but it’s very very good. It deserves 5 stars absolutly. Every player shined here and found his time to strecht out and show his bags of tricks fully. One of the highlights is the comping by Oscar Peterson swing machine which gave to the session a fabolous imprinting. The program is damn good. Two very long blues tunes, a very beautiful standard (“What is this thing” one of the standards I love the most) and a ballad medley. Fantastic! And even if Bird is playing more or less his usual cliches and nothing more, he’s still Bird! I love this album, for real. Buy it, you will love it for years and years too.

Tracks:
01 – Jam Blues
02 – What is This Thing Called Love
03 – Ballad Medley:
a) All the Things You Are
b) Dearly Beloved
c) The Nearness of You
d) I’ll Get By
e) Everything Happens to Me
f) The Man I Love
g) What’s New
h) Someone to Watch Over Me
i) Isn’t it Romantic?
04 – Funky Blues

Personnel:
Charlie Shavers, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges – alto sax
Flip Phillips, Ben Webster – tenor sax
Oscar Peterson – piano
Barney Kessel – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
J.C. Heard – drums

Recorded July, 1952; Los Angeles.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ben Webster – Days of Wine and Roses {JazzLife}


Tracks:
01 – Days of Wine and Roses
02 – Blue Light
03 – Stompy Jones
04 – Pound Horn
05 – For Max
06 – Brother John’s Blues
07 – Nancy (with the Laughing Face)
08 – Duke’s in Bed
09 – What’s I’m Gotchere
10 – My Romance
11 – Bill Coleman

Personnel:
Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
Arnved Meyer – trumpet
Bill Coleman – trumpet, flugelhorn
John Darville – trombone
Ole Kongsted – tenor saxophone
Niels Jorgen Steen, Fred Hunt – piano
Jim Douglas – guitar
Hendrik Hartmann, Ron Rae – bass
Hans Hymand, Lennie Hastings – drums

Recorded at Metronome Studios, Copenhagen, September 1965; and
at Olympic Studios, London, 27th April 1967

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ben Webster – See You at The Fair {impulse!} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Ben Webster’s final American recording was one of his greatest. At 55, the tenor saxophonist was still very much in his prime but considered out of style in the U.S. He would soon permanently move to Europe where he was better appreciated. This CD has the nine selections originally included on the LP of the same name, a quartet set with either Hank Jones or Roger Kellaway on piano, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Osie Johnson. Webster’s tone has rarely sounded more beautiful than on “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Our Love Is Here to Stay.” In addition, one song from the same session (but originally released on a sampler) and two tunes featuring Webster on an Oliver Nelson date (More Blues and the Abstract Truth) wrap up this definitive CD.

Tracks:
01 – See You at The Fair
02 – Over the Rainbow
03 – Our Love ‘s Here to Stay
04 – In a Mellow Tone
05 – Lullaby of Jazzland
06 – Stardust
07 – Fall of Love
08 – While We’re Dancing
09 – Someone to Watch Over Me

Personnel:
Ben Webster – tenor sax
Hank Jones – piano
Roger Kellaway – piano and harpsichord
Richard Davis – bass
Osie Johnson – drums

Recorded March 11 and 25, 1964.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Gerry Mulligan meets Ben Webster {Verve}[MFSL]


Review by Cub Koda (allmusic.com)

The swing and bop start right here on this legendary 1959 session between baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and tenor man Ben Webster. The opening track, Billy Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge,” is lush and emotional and truly sets the tone for this album. With Jimmy Rowles on piano (his intro on “Sunday” sounds like a ragtimer like Willie “The Lion” Smith just pushed him off the stool before the band came in), Mel Lewis on drums, and always superb Leroy Vinnegar on bass present and accounted for, the rhythm section is superbly swinging with just the right amount of bop lines and chords in the mix to spice things up. The ghost of Duke Ellington hovers over every note on this record (Billy Strayhorn was one of his main arrangers), and that is a very good thing indeed. There’s a beautiful understated quality to the music on this session that makes it the perfect “relaxing around the house on a rainy day” disc to pop in the player. File this one under cool, very smooth, and supple.

Tracks:
01 – Chelsea Bridge.flac
02 – The Cat Walk.flac
03 – Sunday.flac
04 – Who’s Got Rhythm_.flac
05 – Tell me When.flac
06 – Go Home.flac

Personnel:
Gerry Mulligan – baritone saxophone
Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
Jimmy Rowles – piano
Mel Lewis – drums
Leroy Vinnegar – bass

Recorded Nov. 3 / Dec. 2, 1959 at Radio Recorders, LA.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster {Verve} “Originals”


Review from cduniverse.com

“Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster” highlights the talents of both tenor men nicely, with Hawkins and Webster consistently complementing each other’s playing. In fact, they develop a kind of conversational interplay that is quite beautiful, particularly on the gentle “It Never Entered My Mind” and the slowly swinging “Shine on Harvest Moon.” Although the rest of the band consists of stellar musicians (including pianist Oscar Peterson and guitarist Herb Ellis), they concede the spotlight to Hawkins and Webster, whose dual saxophones more than carry the record. Other standout tracks include the sultry ballad “Tangerine” and the Latin-flavored “La Rosita.”

Tracks:
01 – Blues for Yolande (stereo)
02 – It Never Entered My Mind
03 – La Rosita
04 – You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
05 – Prisoner of Love
06 – Tangerine
07 – Shine on Harvest Moon
08 – Blues for Yolande (mono)
09 – Blues for Yolande (incomplete takes)

Personnel:
Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
Oscar Peterson – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Alvin Stoller – drums

Recorded October 1957 in Hollwyood

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Barney Kessel – Let’s Cook! {Contemporary}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

This is an excellent session from guitarist Barney Kessel. Kessel is matched with vibraphonist Victor Feldman, pianist Hampton Hawes, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Shelly Manne for a blues-with-a-bridge (the 11-minute “Let’s Cook”), Vernon Duke’s ballad “Time Remembered,” and “Just in Time.” The second half of the album has modernized versions of “Tiger Rag” and “Jersey Bounce” as played by the guitarist, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, trombonist Frank Rosolino, pianist Jimmie Rowles, Vinnegar, and Manne. Throughout, Kessel keeps with the other all-stars, swinging hard while paying tribute to the legacy of Charlie Christian.

Tracks:
01 – Let’s Cook!
02 – Time Remembered
03 – Just in Time
04 – Tiger Rag
05 – Jersey Bounce

Personnel:
Barney Kessel – guitar
Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
Frank Rosolino – trombone
Victor Feldman – vibes
Hampton Hawes, Jimmy Rowles – piano
Leroy Vinnegar – bass
Shelly Manne – drums

Recorded at Contemporary’s Studio, Los Angeles; November 11, 1957 (#1-3) and
August 6, 1957 (#4,5)

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork