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Ben and "Sweets" - EP

Ben Webster & Sweets Edison

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Album Review

Tenor saxophonist Ben Webster and trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, both veterans of the swing era (although associated with different orchestras), had long wanted to record a full album together. The results, a swinging quintet set with pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Clarence Johnston, are quite rewarding. There are two ballad features for the tenor ("How Long Has This Been Going On" and a beautiful version of "My Romance") and one for Edison ("Embraceable You"), along with three medium-tempo collaborations. Nothing unexpected occurs but the melodic music is quite enjoyable.

Biography

Born: 27 March 1909 in Kansas City, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

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...
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