Ben Webster Old Betsy: The Sound Of Big Ben Webster DMM 180g Import LP
Jazz Saxophonist On 180g Vinyl LP!
Direct Metal Master! Pressed at Optimal Germany!
Jazz saxophonist Ben Webster performs 10 songs including "Jeep Is Jumpin'",
"You Forgot To Remember" and more with bassist Spike Heatley, drummer Tony
Crombie, pianist Dick Katz, and Alan Haven on Hammond.
From the mixing console:
The great box-like figure and slow-rolling walk of Ben Webster have become
familiar sights in European cities since 1965, when he settles - gradually but
apparently permanently - into life on this side of the Atlantic (at the time of
writing, late 1967, he regards Amsterdam as his base). The sound of his tenor
saxophone, though, sometimes hot and hoarse, increasingly often a stream of
tuned puffs of wind, has been known to European jazz record collectors a good
deal longer. Ben Webster came to prominence, slipping out from the shadow of
Coleman Hawkins, so to speak, during his comparatively short stay with Duke
Ellington in 1939-43. He was in his early thirties then, and had already worked
with Bennie Moten, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson and many others. There had
also been an intermittent association with the Ellington orchestra from as far
back as 1935. Ben's particular contribution to the art of the tenor saxophone is
- as hinted above - a curiously breathy attack, in which he seems to be blowing
round the mouthpiece rather than through it. A sound that Humphrey Lyttleton on
BBC's Jazz Scene one night referred to as Ben's "breathalyser technique". You
can get a very clear idea of this and some of Ben Webster's other
characteristics on this record, made in London in January 1967. To back him on
all but two of the tracks Dick Katz, well known once to most listeners as a
member of the Ray Allington Quartet, was dragged from behind this agency desk
and sat at the piano, to produce splendid, rolling two-handed stuff of a kind we
could do with more often. Spike Haetly, one of the best in Britain, is on bass.
Tony Cromble is on drums. "My One And Only Love", "Where Or When" and "Remember"
have the distinctive organ sound of Alan Haven. As with almost any Ben Webster
set you're likely to encounter in the flesh, there's a strong tincture of
Ellington about the repertoire. "Just A Sittin' And A Rockin'" was originally
titled "See'pea", Duke's nickname for his late lieutenant Billy Strayhorn when
it was first recorded in 1941. "Jeep Is Jumpin'" is a reference to one of the
many pet names for Johnny Hodges. "Solitude", the tune of which was written in
1934, is possibly the widest known of Duke's compositions outside jazz circles.
Most of the rest of the material is made up of popular standards. The Jimmy
McHugh-Dorothy Field number "Exactly Like You" is from a 1930 New York show
called 'International Revue'. Of the two Irving Berlin tunes, "How Deep is The
Ocean" dates from 1925. Fats Waller and Andy Razaf wrote "Honeysuckle Rose" in
1929, since when it has just conceivably been played by more jazz musicians of
more various styles than any other tune. In the middle and late thirties no jam
session sounded right without it. Richard Rodgers' tune "Where Or When", with
Lorenz Hart's words, is from teh 1937 musical 'Babes In Arms'. Harry Baris (of
The Rythme Boys) and Ted Koehler wrote "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams", which has
one of the most 'yearning' middle eights of all popular songs, in 1931.
- Fritz de With, Balance / MW Coding Engineer STS Digital, The Netherlands
• 180g Vinyl
• Direct Metal Mastering
• MW Coding Process
• Metal Cutting by Gunter Pauler, Germany
• Pressed at Optimal Germany
Ben Webster, tenor saxophone
Dick Katz, piano
Alan Haven, Hammond
Spike Heatley, bass
Tony Crombie, drums
2. Where Or When
3. My One And Only Love
4. How Deep Is The Ocean
5. You Forgot To Remember
1. Just A Sittin' And A Rockin'
2. Jeep Is Jumpin
3. Honeysuckle Rose
4. Exactly Like You
5. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams