Yes, when I hear Webster blow his horn I'm smitten by the sheer beauty of his sound; the way he carresses his mouthpeace and blows his horn somehow produces warm and complex tone, capable of extremely wide range of emotion, impressive in all registers, but always beautiful (without even a hint of schmaltz or kitsch...).
In upper register he sometimes sounds sensitive like a violin, without pathetic quality (jazz) violinists can have in their upper register playing, in lower register my whole body reverberates with Ben's power. And for all this to take place it is not even necessary that he is caught at the peak of his form or in the right company!
Well, at this album he is right there at his peak and, in the company of
impressive range and dinamism of Oscar Peterson and his trusted gang (Ray Brown /b/ and Ed Thigpen /dm/), the things could hardly have gone wrong.
I'm particularly pleased with "When Your Lover has Gone", which is a great and logical material for such a group of great musicians, but it is interesting to compare Webster's treatment of children song "Bye Bye Blackbird", famous in jazz circles for Miles Davis' definitive treatment. Also; pay attention to the "In the Wee, Small Hours of the Morning"...
Although Ben is a star of this occasion and Oscar his trusted sidekick, other two musicians also get their licks and kicks, proving, yet again, how mainstream jazz can be a very powerfull mode of artistic expression.
Such a great CD!