Ben Webster

In Hannover Germany 1972

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One of the last live performances featuring tenor great Ben Webster prior to his death in 1973, this 1972 concert (erroneously listed as 1973 on the DVD cover) was videotaped for German television. Although Webster no longer had the capacity to play long, lush notes or to play at the blistering tempo that he once did, he still offers stirring renditions of standards (especially ballads) and familiar fare from the vast Duke Ellington songbook. Pianist Oscar Peterson, bassist Niels-Henning ├śrsted Pedersen, and drummer Tony Inzalaco (a veteran of the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Band) provide strong support throughout the set. Webster remains seated during the performance, offering lush treatments of "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)" and "For All We Know," while romping through "Perdido" and "Cottontail." Peterson, out of respect for Webster, doesn't attack the piano quite as aggressively as he might have with other all-stars. In addition to the nearly hourlong DVD program, there are three audio-only bonus tracks from the same concert that were not videotaped for broadcast but were fortunately recorded, including a dynamic Peterson solo of "Autumn Leaves."

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