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Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster
Format: Audio CDChange
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Recorded in 1957 this session captures Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster duelling on Tenor Saxophones. The standard is set on the opening track ' Blues for Yolande'. This is a steady driving blues. Hawkins takes the first solo and after two choruses lets rip on the 3rd chorus with as raucous a blues riff as you're ever likely to hear on a Tenor Saxophone.

Whether 'Blues for Yolande' was the first recorded track I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was Coleman Hawkins putting down a marker. Of course later on Ben Webster gets a chance to shine with some of his brilliant breathy ballad playing.

The rhythm section is Alvin Stoller on drums, Ray Brown on Bass, Herb Ellis on Guitar and Oscar Peterson on Piano. As the previous reviewer said these guys are as good as it gets.

A marvellous album that grows on you with repeated listens.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2008
Some might say (including historians, musical producers and liner notes writers) that Hawkins was much better than Webster, that only Young could equall his power with his unique approach. Even if this is true, the level at which Hawk and Webster play is so high that I see the meeting of two true giants.

Impecable rhythm section led by great Oscar Peterson always helps at these Verve style encounters and I feel that both tenor plays made the best of it.

Whether it is gentle ballads, blowing the blues or harmonizing in rhythm, this CD should satisfy not only swing and mainstream fans but also modern jazz fans: mainstream by definition leans somewhat towards modern jazz and Hawk and Peterson particularly well blend the best of both worlds (as they did throught their careers; Hawkins even before modern jazz was born).

A classic.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Hawkins and Webster sound great together on this album. It was recorded in the late-fifties, but sounds surprisingly contemporary, thanks to fine playing and some excellent remastering of the sound. In the background, Oscar Peterson and co provide a blue-chip rhythm section that never intrudes into the saxophone duels between Hawkins and Webster. Some lovely blues and ballads make this a recording you will return to again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2014
Absolutely wonderful tracks, so glad to have found it. If you like the best saxophone players then this CD is a must have.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This 1957 album is by and large a classic of late night listening. The sharper, more incisive attack of Hawkins contrasts nicely with the soft, breathy tones of his admitted pupil, Ben Webster. There is one track, "Shine on Harvest Moon", which is an absolute classic by any standards, in the way the simple tune is developed and within the slow swing tempo generates incredible tension. The accompaniment by Oscar Peterson, here as always, is impeccably discreet and supportive, but also distinctly original.

Of the two sax players, Hawkins has the greater range, from swinging, big-boned ballads (usually Webster territory) to wailing, rasping climaxes. And always beautifully structured and varied. But Webster is also in peak melliflous form, before his breathiness became a mannerism.

My caveats are threefold: 1. Short measure. A common problem with Verve reissues of LPs. Perhaps it is because there are so few outtakes to use as fillers. Here the disc is padded out to 46 minutes with both a mono and stereo version of "Blues for Yolande", which to my ear aren't sufficiently different to merit it. Verve should consider issuing two LPs on a single CD, as Peggy Lee's label has done Natural Woman/Is That All There Is?. Or maybe an indie could do it, now that these recordings are out of copyright. It's happened with the Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks Sings The Porter,Rodgers & Hart Songbooks and the later Billie Holliday The Ultimate Collection (4 LPs onto 3 discs with both).

2. Recording balance. No problems when the two are soloing, and in general the sound quality is excellent. But when they are duetting, Hawkins tends to smother Webster, and it's not a true balance.

3. One really duff track. "La Rosita" is seriously marred by irritating and distracting bongos from Alvin Stoller. I tend to skip this track.

But the rest is incomparable.
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on 10 August 2013
Two of the greatest masters of the tenor sax who combine and compare so effectively. Hawkins is incredibly fluent and his solos really sing. Webster can be more aggressive but has an amazing tone and adds much excitement to his playing. This is an essential CD to have in the best jazz collections
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I own a vinyl copy of this that I transferred to CD some time ago. I then acquired this CD version. The vinyl had more tracks, but the CD quality is far better. One of my all-time favourites!
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on 13 February 2015
Excellent goods and fast service
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on 5 August 2015
excellent in every way thank
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on 28 January 2015
My 85 year father lovesit.
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