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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 January 2001
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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on 16 February 2001
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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on 1 June 2008
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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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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on 8 July 2013
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 March 2012
For a time, reviews of 'Ben Webster meets Oscar Peterson' also appeared under this album, but to confuse the two is like mistaking the top of the iceberg for the whole thing. Here, in addition to that gorgeous album, you also get Webster's splendid 'Soulville' and 'King of the Tenors' albums, and some extra tracks thrown in, at a modest price for a 2cd set running for 142 minutes.

I already own Avid's fine 2cd collection which includes 'Soulville', which I'd strongly recommend to anyone who loves the clear, singing tone of Webster's playing:
Three Classic Albums Plus (Blue Saxophones / Soulville / The Soul Of Ben Webster) However, I feel it was well worth the duplication involved to acquire the two extra albums plus bonus tracks.

From the opening chords of 'The Touch of your Lips', on 'Ben Webster meets Oscar Peterson', through the hard bounce of 'Sunday', and the exquisitely beautiful 'Wee small hours of the Morning', is just captivating and enchanting jazz at its best (minus any annoying squeaks and squeals). Thereafter, the quintet sessions on the 'King of the Tenors' album include some lip-smacking stuff, from the perky 'Bounce Blues' to the wistful glory of 'Danny Boy'. 'Soulville' is a Webster classic, with a sharper, slightly rougher 'live feel', evident in the driving energy and rhythms of 'Soulville' itself, and 'Late Date', while 'Ill Wind' has a suitably chilly atmosphere, and 'Time on my Hands' is an addictive ballad.

The bonus tracks include a wonderful 17 minute long session 'Ballad Medley', from an 'All Star Jam Session' in 1952, featuring solos which include Barney Kessel, Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Peterson, Ray Brown, Flip Phillips and Charlie Shavers, which is just delightful, plus 3 tracks with Webster 'fooling around' on piano, which includes 'Roses of Picardy'.

Essential Jazz Classics have put together an attractive package, with background and original liner notes, personnel listings, dates and running times. If you enjoy warm melodic jazz, impeccably performed, this is an essential acquisition.
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on 24 October 2015
this is a somewhat misleading title,tracks 1-7 are indeed oscar peterson and no complaints,but tracks 8-19 are ben with art tatum,this is the cherry on the cake,essential jazz,and no collection should be without it.This comes from pablo group masterpieces,vol 8,with norman granz,so 2 albums,grab it while its available,astonishing value.
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on 25 November 2014
So cool and laid back jazz.Nothing i like doing better than slipping this vinyl on my turntable,having my woman snuggle up,a nice glass of wine and low lighting.Relaxing sexy jazz,and she is not a huge fan.If you are contamplating jazz,and just want it straight up,no improvs,just nice chill factor stuff then this album is a great start.Love it.Oh and it is a very good tension buster!!
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on 4 February 2010
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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on 12 January 2011
Played this CD over and over again. Always the first to come off the shelf when I think "What shall I play?" Great listening for me and doesn't upset those visitors who think they don't like jazz.
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