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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Verve Reissues

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Verve Reissues

Issued in time for Valentine's Day 2005, Ben Webster for Lovers collects 11 of the tenor giant's best ballads from his Verve period. Readings of "My Funny Valentine," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Where Are You," "Love Is Here to Stay," and "Time On My Hands" are the standouts, but nothing here is superfluous. The only track that should have been included that wasn't is Webster's read of "Chelsea Bridge" from Music for Loving, the single most moving ballad he ever recorded. This set works well for its intended purpose, but it functions just as well as a stellar set of ballads by one of the jazz genre's finest practitioners of the form. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1954 | Verve

This 1953 date matched Webster with such peers as alto saxophonist Benny Carter, trumpeter Harry Edison, and pianist Oscar Peterson for a series of elegant yet soulful and exuberant small group dates. With no cut longer than four and a half minutes, the players didn't have time for excess statements or overkill; they had to quickly get to the heart of the matter in their solos, make their points, and return to the head. The original session has been enlarged by the addition of two previously unissued tracks, plus an alternate version of "That's All" that was later issued as a single. Label head Norman Granz excelled in producing swing-oriented, crisply played mainstream dates. Although this date is more than four decades old, Ben Webster's solos have a freshness and vitality that make them quite relevant to contemporary events. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 23, 2018 | Storyville

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Jazz - Released October 2, 2015 | DiscMedi S.A.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Verve

Combining two string albums by Ben Webster and one from Ellington sideman Harry Carney, the two-disc Music With Feeling delivers over two hours' worth of incredible ballad interpretations. Webster, of course, made his name with many an after-hours gem, and he predictably shines here amidst the lush yet tasteful orchestral charts penned by Ralph Burns, Gerald Wilson, and Billy Strayhorn; there are particularly fine renditions here of "Early Autumn" and Strayhorn's misty and mercurial "Chelsea Bridge." Carney, too, is stunning, handling the traditionally cumbersome baritone saxophone with grace and loads of feeling, especially on highlights like "It Had to Be You" and his and Strayhorn's "Chalmeau." Forget all those bachelor-pad compilations and give this collection a spin at your next cocktail party. © Stephen Cook /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

This early-'70s meeting between two giants of the tenor sax (both of whom by this time were living in Europe on a permanent basis) is full of memorable moments. The styles of Ben Webster and Don Byas provide a distinct contrast (though Byas was also a swing-influenced saxophonist, he was heavily into bop as well), yet they mesh very well together. On their opening improvised "Blues for Dottie Mae," Webster's big-toned swing tends to dominate, though Byas' boppish lines dart around at lightning speeds; Tete Montoliu's bluesy piano provides the perfect support. The roles are evened out a bit more on a swinging take of "Sunday." The evenly matched tenor battle continues with a rousing "Perdido" and very swinging "Caravan." Bassist Peter Trunk introduces Byas' "Lullaby to Dottie Mae," an easygoing reworking of the timeless ballad "Body and Soul," which features a rapid-fire solo by Byas. Webster's turn in the solo spotlight is his own ballad "When Ash Meets Henry," in which he is accompanied only by Trunk's well-chosen basslines. Also present on the date is drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath. Sadly, this LP was a bit of a swan song for both tenor saxophonists; Byas died in the year prior to its 1973 release, while Webster died the following year, though he taped at least one more album following this one. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1959 | Verve

Ben Webster and Associates is a 1959 session that took full advantage of the long-playing LP format. Highlighted by the 20-minute version of Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone" in which tenor titans Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, and Budd Johnson plus trumpeter Roy Eldridge stretch out, not so much in a cutting contest as a laid-back jam session amongst friends. This summit meeting turned out to be a tribute to another tenor master of the same generation, Lester Young, who had died less than four weeks before this session. The chosen rhythm section of Jimmy Jones on piano, Les Spann on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, and Jo Jones on drums equally matches the performance of the featured horns. Also tackled for this session were three Webster originals: "De-Dar," "Young Bean," and "Budd Johnson" and the standard "Time After Time." Unfortunately no bonus tracks are included (if they even exist) but the excellent sound restoration more than makes up for it. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Verve

Although tenor saxophonist Ben Webster gets top billing, this two-CD set actually contains an LP apiece by Webster, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, and altoist Johnny Hodges. Webster is on all of the recordings, but really only stars on the first date, a septet outing with trumpeter Art Farmer and fellow tenor Harold Ashby. The great tenor is at his best on a beautiful version of "Chelsea Bridge" and "When I Fall in Love." The Edison session is a sextet outing with Webster, the Oscar Peterson Trio, and drummer Alvin Stoller mixing blues and swing standards; Edison's usually muted trumpet is quite effective. The final set puts the focus on altoist Hodges, who sounds beautiful on "Don't Take Your Love from Me," although the many blues performances also give solo space to trumpeter Roy Eldridge (literally explosive on "Honey Hill") and trombonist Vic Dickenson. A total of three previously unissued performances have been added to the program, and all three of these sessions had been long out of print; they add to the legacy of Norman Granz's Verve label, showing that many top swing all-stars were actually at their prime in the 1950s. Recommended. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1960 | Warner Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Verve

This album features selections from five classic Webster releases: BEN WEBSTER AND ASSOCIATES, MUSIC FOR LOVING, KING OF THE TENORS, SOULVILLE, and COLEMAN HAWKINS ENCOUNTERS BEN WEBSTER. This music is part of Verve's "Quiet Now" series, which not surprisingly, highlights ballads and light swing. A romantic, even sultry compilation, UNTIL TONIGHT is the perfect jazz mood music for any occasion. However, these tunes need not be relegated to the background. Webster's sensitive and deeply emotional approach to the ballad is elegant beyond compare. UNTIL TONIGHT features such standard love songs as, "Tenderly," "Time After Time" and "It Never Entered My Mind." Selections from MUSIC FOR LOVING are replete with a string orchestra, and other tunes showcase pianists Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones, or Billy Strayhorn (all legends in their own right). Finally, Webster's idol, Coleman Hawkins sits in on the Latin-inflected "La Rosita." © TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 1, 2013 | Ensayo

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1963 | Riverside

What initially seems like an unlikely pairing for this session delivers on its unique pedigree with performances that do full justice to tenor legend Ben Webster and to the then up and coming pianist Joe Zawinul. Recorded in 1963 while the pianist was a member of the Cannonball Adderley Sextet, the session came about as a result of Webster's and Zawinul's sharing a New York apartment for several months. It's actually billed as Zawinul's first session as leader and Webster's last in the U.S. before his move to Europe. The tunes generally keep to mid-tempos, a pace that affords Webster the opportunity to wield the gentler side of his legendary sound. His rich, nuanced tone and magnificent phrasing are superbly in evidence. Listeners only familiar with Zawinul's soul-jazz side with Adderley and later his pioneering synthesizer work with Weather Report may be surprised at his eloquent playing here in a classic style right out of Tommy Flanagan or Red Garland. The presence of Thad Jones -- a legend in his own right -- on cornet for four tacks is a bonus. With a rhythm section rounded out by the slightly lesser legends of drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Sam Jones, alternating with Richard Davis, there isn't one false step on this set. It may tend to the mellower side of things, but that simply means there's more opportunity to luxuriate in Webster's peerless sound. © Jim Todd /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Verve Reissues

Ben Webster is probably best known for his eloquent ballad playing. On JAZZ 'ROUND MIDNIGHT, we are treated to no less than 15 ballads, all of which are performed superbly. Webster is one of the great jazz romantics, and his sultry ballad style stirs the heart and soul with every phrase. It's not just the way he caresses each note, or the thick airy sound he gets on his tenor sax; it's the lyrical, almost voice-like character of his playing that makes all of these songs so memorable. Backed by such notables as Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown, Webster's renditions of "You're Getting To Be a Habit With Me," "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," "We'll Be Together Again," and others, sparkle with vitality, romance, and warmth. Finally, Webster's idol, Coleman Hawkins, sits in on "Prisoner of Love" making this CD sparkle even that much more. One of the great jazz ballad albums, JAZZ 'ROUND MIDNIGHT is a must for any candlelight dinner. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 5, 1972 | Futura Marge - Atypeek Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released February 15, 2019 | Storyville Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Impulse!

Ben Webster's final American recording was one of his greatest. At 55, the tenor saxophonist was still very much in his prime but considered out of style in the U.S. He would soon permanently move to Europe where he was better appreciated. This CD has the nine selections originally included on the LP of the same name, a quartet set with either Hank Jones or Roger Kellaway on piano, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Osie Johnson. Webster's tone has rarely sounded more beautiful than on "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Our Love Is Here to Stay." In addition, one song from the same session (but originally released on a sampler) and two tunes featuring Webster on an Oliver Nelson date (More Blues and the Abstract Truth) wrap up this definitive CD. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 12, 2016 | Jerden

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Jazz - Released October 25, 2017 | nagel heyer records