Ben Webster

The Complete Ben Webster on Emarcy (1951-1953)

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The early '50s briefly found tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster moving to Kansas City for awhile before settling in Los Angeles. He recorded in several different settings for EmArcy during this time (prior to signing with Norman Granz's Verve label) and all of the music (19 songs plus 14 alternate takes) were released on this valuable two-LP set, in addition to a set with an all-star sextet that includes altoist Benny Carter and trumpeter Maynrd Ferguson and four numbers backed by Johnny Richard's septet, Webster is heard as a featured sideman with Jay McShann, Johnny Otis, Dinah Washington, Marshall Royal and even The Ravens. The tenorman, whose sound had continued to grow in emotional depth since leaving Duke Ellington, excels in all of these contexts although the large number of alternate takes makes this two-fer of primary interest to collectors.

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