This collection is far from complete with respect to Ben and Oscar collaborating, but it covers some of their best work together. In fact on the final three tracks on Disc Two Ben takes over the piano from Oscar and may have been among the only recorded examples of him on that instrument.
Sound samples are the best way to convey what's in this album musically. Unfortunately, at the time of this review there are no sampled on this page. I have tracked down not only session details for each track, but links to albums from which those tracks were taken. Each album linked has sound samples, so if you are willing to hop around you can get a good feel for what is in this collection.
Here are the contents of each of the two discs and links to albums that have associated sound samples:
Tracks 1-7 are from the album titled Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson that was recorded in NY on November 6, 1959. Ben is backed by Oscar Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums.
Tracks 8-13 are from an album titled King of the Tenors that was recorded in NY on April 21, 1953. Ben is backed by Oscar Peterson on piano, Barney Kessel on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and J.C. Heard on drums.
Track 14 is an extended medley that was recorded on June 17, 1952 in Los Angeles. It was one of Norman Gantz' jam sessions that featured the following line up: Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Charlie Parker, Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges on alto sax, Flip Phillips and Ben Webster on tenor sax, Oscar Peterson on piano, Barney Kessel on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and J.C. Heard on drums. Titled Ballad Medley, the songs in this piece are All the Things You Are/Dearly Beloved/The Nearness of You/I'll Get By/Everything Happens To Me/the Man I Love/What's New?/Someone To Watch Over Me/Isn't It Romantic. You can listen to a sound sample on Legendary 1952 Jam Sessions.
Tracks 1 through 7 comprised the original tracks released in 1957 on an album titled Soulville. Ben is backed by Oscar Peterson on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and Stan Levey on drums. These were recorded in Los Angeles on October 15, 1957. Tracks 13 through 15 were recorded at the same session and feature Ben on piano. He is surprisingly good too.
Tracks 8 through 12 are also from King of the Tenors linked above. These tracks feature Ben with Harry Sweets Edison on trumpet, Benny Carter on alto, and a rhythm section comprised of Oscar Peterson on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and Alvin Stoller on drums. They were recorded in Los Angeles on December 8, 1953.
This is an excellent collection of Webster/Peterson collaborations, including tracks culled from JATP sessions. If you are a fan of either artist this set is a listening pleasure. For Ben's final collaboration with Oscar check out Live in Hannover (also on video as In Hannover Germany 1973).