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Gone With the Wind

Ben Webster

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Album Review

Recorded early in tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster's long European period, this quartet set (reissued on a Black Lion CD) features Webster with piansit Kenny Drew, bassist Niels Pederson and drummer Alex Riel. The music is typical of the tenor's repertoire of the period, mostly swing standards with a few medium-tempo romps sandwiched by warm ballad statements. Highlights include "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter," "Sunday," "Gone With The Wind" and "Over The Rainbow."

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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