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Album Review

The remarkable Benny Waters (who sticks here exclusively to alto) was 91 at the time of this recording yet still displays a strong tone and creative ideas. Assisted by guitarist Vic Juris and three nearly ancient veterans (pianist Red Richards, bassist Johnny Williams, Jr., and drummer Jackie Williams), Waters performs ten standards that have love as their main topic (including "What Is This Thing Called Love," "When Your Lover Has Gone," "Always," "Taking a Chance on Love," etc.) but fortunately varies the tempoes (not every selection is taken at a ballad pace) and comes up with fresh ideas on these songs. Along with his other Jazzpoint release from the same period (Swinging Again), this CD is recommended.


Born: 23 January 1902 in Brighton, MD

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Until his death at the age of 96, Benny Waters was not only the second oldest active jazz musician (to Eubie Blake who made it to 100) but a powerful altoist who would be considered impressive if he were only 50. Waters' personal history covered virtually the entire history of recorded jazz, although he never really became a major name. He worked with Charlie Miller from 1918-1921, studied at the New England Conservatory, and became a teacher; one of his students was Harry Carney, remarkably. Waters...
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