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The Legendary Sessions (2CD) [CD]

Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson, Ben Webster Quintet Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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The Legendary Sessions (2CD) + Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Jan 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Essential Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B00305ICN4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,054 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description Review

Ben Webster's tenor saxophone is one of the utterly distinctive and inimitable sounds in jazz and in 1959, when this set was recorded, it had reached its full breathy, melting ripeness. It was more than an instrumental tone; it was a voice, with all the variety of nuance that the human voice can command. He applies it here to seven classic American songs, well-known melodies which he explores with the ease and relaxation of long familiarity. Only Sinatra's own version could equal Webster's exposition of "In The Wee Small Hours Of the Morning", while Ray Noble's "The Touch Of Your Lips" was never so well served, either before or since. Most of the pieces are taken either as slow ballads or at an easy, mid-tempo lope, the one exception being "Sunday", which swings out with a will. Oscar Peterson is so celebrated as a virtuoso pianist that his virtues as an accompanist are rarely noticed, but he is one of the most supportive partners any soloist could desire. Along with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen, his regular bass-and-drums team of the time, he provides the perfect setting for Webster. Altogether, this is a golden set from a golden era. --Dave Gelly

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Imagine someone pouring ambrosia into your ears, lie back in your favourite chair, kick back and aaaaaaah, relax. Ben Webster, the master of the sax ballad meets Oscar Peterson, the master of mellow piano, throw in Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums; the combination is, well, just delicious. Both Webster and Peterson have such an understanding of phrasing that musical pyrotechnics are unnecessary. This is the nonchalance of perfection. Ray Brown's bass has never been better and on this recording, just listen to his playful lines on Bye-bye Blackbird. In fact the whole recording has both a beautiful simplicity but a sense of lazy fun. To coin a cliche, get this CD!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is as good as it gets 16 Feb 2001
Format:Audio CD
A superb recording from the two best purveyors of smoky night club swing. Ben takes the lead voice on most of the album but Oscar's contribution, though often in the background, is nontheless potent and polished. This is a must have for all fans of jazz from this period and indeed any other. It forms a superb introduction for those not familliar with the players and will be enjoyed even by those who do not think they like jazz at all! If you dont already own it get it now!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC 1 Jun 2008
Format:Audio CD
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!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caught In The Web. 4 Feb 2010
Format:Audio CD
A great album to sit back and relax to - if that's what your hoping for. Recorded late in 1959, this is the fourth collaboration between the two legends. The quartet consists of Webster on tenor sax, Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Ed Thigpen on drums; all combining to create that smoky club atmosphere. It is Ben Webster's seductive playing that lends it that feeling, the timbre of his sax is incredibly tender and sophisticated. Leisurely making his way through luscious tracks like: When Your Lover Has Gone, and, In The Wee, Small Hours Of The Morning. Not forgetting the rest of the ensemble (or tracks), all of which add to the silkiness that runs through the album.
The album is generally made up of slower pieces, exceptions being: Sunday, and This Cant Be Love. Other songs include: The Touch Of Your Lips, Bye-bye Blackbird, and, How Deep Is The Ocean. So do your ears a favour, indulge in the sonority of Webster's sax.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A fine album but too laid back for me. 28 May 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
How can one fault the playing of Ben Webster or Oscar Peterson?
I am a huge devotee of Webster, less so Peterson. I had great expectations of this album since I would mostly rate BW albums five star automatically. I haven't had this album long, but even after several play throughs (it is quite a short album by modern standards) it hasn't lifted me. There are seven tunes on the album and they are all taken at much the same tempo, one slightly faster. The music certainly swings. BW couldn't play otherwise, but one tune tends to blend into the next.

So my criticism has nothing to do with musicianship, just choice of material for an LP.

Might just do the job if you suffer as an insomniac!

Sorry to all the other reviewers for disagreeing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Addition to My Collection 8 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As I have been a fan of modern and mainstream jazz for half a century, I thought I had heard of most albums from the fifties and sixties that suited my taste but I heard 'Bye Bye Blackbird' played on Radio 3 and liked it enough to invest in the album. Money well spent! It rates amongst my all-time favourites - the whole album is relaxed and swinging - just as I like it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Failed to deliver 29 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
CD was cheap but actually the company failed to deliver after several week. Seems like a lottery with no reliable stock comtrol.
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