Personnel: Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Benny Carter (alto saxophone); Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet); Oscar Peterson (piano); Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); J.C. Heard, Alvin Stoller (drums).
Recorded in New York, New York on May 21, 1953 and Los Angeles, California on December 8, 1953. Originally released on Norgran (MGN 1001) as THE CONSUMMATE ARTISTRY OF BEN WEBSTER. Includes liner notes by Michael Ullman.
Personnel: Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel (guitar); Benny Carter (alto saxophone); Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet); Oscar Peterson (piano); J.C. Heard, Alvin Stoller (drums).
Recording information: Los Angeles, CA (05/21/1953/12/08/1953); New York, NY (05/21/1953/12/08/1953).
Director: Wendi B. Cohen.
Editor: Peter Pullman.
Photographer: Phil Stern.
By 1953, Ben Webster had carved out his own niche in the world of jazz (and certainly in the world of saxophone). Early in his career, the tenor man was under the spell of Coleman Hawkins and some critics considered him a mere copy. However, by the '50s, Webster had formed his own idiom. Still showing his roots, Webster nonetheless began to play with more flexible phrasing and a unique breathy tone. Uptempo numbers were intense yet controlled, and his ballad work (probably his greatest asset) was lyrical and more emotional than that of any of his contemporaries.
On KING OF THE TENORS we hear Webster in two different versions of the Oscar Peterson Quartet. The first setting features only one horn (Webster), the second session features legends Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet) and Benny Carter (alto sax) in addition to Webster. This reissue includes a previously unreleased version of "Poutin" as well as superb renditions of standard tunes "Tenderly," "Don't Get Around Any More," and the lovely Irish traditional "Danny Boy."