Ben Webster - A breath of cool from Copenhagen tonight.

Ben Webster – Live In Copenhagen – 1965 – Past Daily Downbeat

Ben Webster - A breath of cool from Copenhagen tonight.
Ben Webster – A breath of cool from Copenhagen tonight.

A classic club date this week from the legendary Ben Webster and his Quartet, consisting of Kenny Drew, Piano – Nis-Henning Orsted Pedersen, bass and Alex Riel, drums. Recorded at Jazzhus Monmarte in Copenhagen on January 30 and 31st, 1965.

A great set, and part of a 2-CD release on the Jazz Colours label from Germany. The sound is pretty stunning and Webster is in fine form.

And a few words from Webster’s website and bio excerpt by Frank Büchman-Møller:

Webster is regarded as one of the three foremost swing era tenor saxophonists – the two others being Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. His ballad playing and sound inspired such later fellow saxophonists as Paul Gonsalves, Harold Ashby, Archie Shepp, Eddie ”Lockjaw” Davis, Frank Foster, Sonny Rollins, Flip Phillips, Georgie Auld, John Coltrane, Scott Hamilton, and Branford Marsalis. His rough playing with growl was emulated by Charlie Ventura and David Murray, and it also inspired R&B and rock saxophonists, who often combined the use of growl with altissimo notes.

Webster is the subject of two documentaries, Big Ben: Europe (1967) by Johan van der Keuken (on DVD by Eforfilms), and The Brute And The Beautiful (1989) by John Jeremy (on VHS video by Koch Entertainment), not yet on DVD.

A collection of his solos has been published by John Alexander:Ben Webster´s Greatest transcribed Solos (Lebanon, IN, Hal Leonard, 1995).

Two biographies have been published on Webster, the first by Jeroen de Valk: Ben Webster. His Life And Music (Berkeley, CA, Berkeley Hills Books, 2001), and the second by Frank Büchmann-Møller: Someone To Watch Over Me. The Life And Music Of Ben Webster (Ann Arbor, MI, University of Michigan Press, 2006).

Something simply straight-ahead and very relaxed this Sunday – taking the cranial crowd noise down a few db for the weekend.

And a breath of cool from the frantic pace of general life going on.


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