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Live at the Haarlemse Jazzclub

Ben Webster

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Album Review

There are many CDs available from tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster's period in Europe that were recorded live during club performances. Virtually all are worth hearing even though the veteran tenor's style was no longer evolving. This set, recorded in Holland with pianist Tete Montoliu and a pair of Dutch players, finds Webster playing six veteran standards including such standbys as "Sunday," "How Long Has This Been Going On" and "Perdido." The music is quite enjoyable and swinging if not all that essential.


Born: March 27, 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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