Ben Webster


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This volume in the Chronological Classics Ben Webster series is a fascinating slice during a wildly transitional period for the saxophonist. In the years between 1946-1951, Webster made numerous jumps as evidenced by these tracks, from the glorious jumping big swing of "The Jeep Is Jumpin'" while he was with Bill De Arango to the searing bebop of "Dark Corners" (with some blazing guitar work by De Arango) to the small-combo hard bop of "Randle's Island" to the bluesy, near soul-jazz balladry of "You're My Thrill." In Webster's company are some masters to be sure, including Maynard Ferguson, Al Haig, Big Sid Catlett, Bill Coleman, Benny Carter, Tony Scott, Buster Moten, and Gerald Wiggins, to name a few. This is varied set in terms of style, but these performances (and sound) are consistently fine.

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