Ben Webster

Ben Webster with the Mike Renzi Trio

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    7
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Recorded live at Jack Welch's Kings and Queens jazz club in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on December 7, 1963, this pleasant set features tenor saxophonist Ben Webster doing his thing backed by the house trio (Mike Renzi on piano, Bob Pettrutti on bass, and Joe Veletri on drums). On display is Webster's patented breathy and slurred horn attack, which is sweet as September honey (particularly on the ballads) without ever being saccharine. The recording itself is fair, although there is some tape hiss and crowd noise (at one point you can actually hear an audience member ordering a drink) and the edited cuts between tracks can be a bit abrupt, but as an archival document of Webster playing in a small club with a competent -- if a bit ardent at times -- trio behind him, this set is well-worth checking out. Within a year Webster would leave the states for more sympathetic and enthusiastic audiences in Europe, like many of the veteran jazz players of his generation, and settle in Copenhagen, where he based himself until his death in 1973.

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