Ben Webster

There Is No Greater Love

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Ben Webster was one of the great swing-era saxophonists, a player whose tone was a bit rougher than that of his contemporaries Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins, but who shared with them a robust, broad-toned attack that fell out of favor during the bebop years. This session was recorded in Copenhagen in 1965 and features pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and drummer Alex Riel backing Webster on a program of standards. Webster blows sublimely throughout, delivering beautiful versions of "Easy to Love," "Stardust," "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)" and, especially, "Autumn Leaves." But sloppy production is an irritant throughout; the rhythm section is poorly miked, and Webster's tenor saxophone is distorted in several places. Fans and completists shouldn't hesitate, but this album is not the best introduction to Webster's art.

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