Bar code: 8436028694525
All of the Ben Webster-Oscar Peterson quartet/quintet collaborations featuring Webster as the only horn player, for the first time ever on one double CD set.
Included are the complete classic albums Ben Webster meets Oscar Peterson (1959) and Soulville (1957). Also here are the quintet sessions originally issued on King Of The Tenors (recorded 1953; released in 1956).
As a bonus, some Webster-Peterson collaborations in larger groups: a Ballad Medley from their first recorded session together, five septet tracks with Harry Edison & Benny Carter that complete the King Of The Tenors album, and three songs from the Soulville sessions with Webster at the piano.
-Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson
"Another fine Webster release on Verve that sees the tenor great once again backed by the deluxe Oscar Peterson Trio. In keeping with the high standard of their Soulville collaboration of two years prior, Webster and the trio -- Peterson is joined by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen -- use this 1959 date to conduct a clinic in ballad playing. And while Soulville certainly ranks as one of the tenor saxophonist's best discs, the Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson set gets even higher marks for its almost transcendent marriage of after-hours elegance and effortless mid-tempo swing -- none of Webster's boogie-woogie piano work to break up the mood here. Besides reinvigorating such lithe strollers as "Bye Bye Blackbird" (nice bass work by Brown here) and "This Can't Be Love," Webster and company achieve classic status for their interpretation of the Sinatra gem "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning." And to reassure Peterson fans worried about scant solo time for their hero, the pianist lays down a healthy number of extended runs, unobtrusively shadowing Webster's vaporous tone and supple phrasing along the way. Not only a definite first-disc choice for Webster newcomers, but one of the jazz legend's all-time great records."
"The by turns grizzled and vaporous-toned Webster really hit his stride on the Verve label. During a stretch from roughly 1953-1959, the Ellington alumnus showcased his supreme playing with both combos and string sections, swingers and ballads -- and lurking beneath his blustery and hulking sound were solo lines brimming with sophistication and wit. This 1957 date with the Oscar Peterson Trio is one of the highlights of that golden '50s run. After starting off with two bluesy originals -- the slow burning title track and gutsy "Late Date" -- Webster gets to the heart of things on five wistful ballads: Here, his exquisitely sly "Makin' Whoopee" is only outdone by an incredibly nuanced "Where Are You." Providing sympathetic counterpoint, Peterson forgoes his usual pyrotechnics for some leisurely compact solos; his cohorts -- guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Stan Levey -- are equally assured and splendid. And ending the set with flair, Webster takes over the piano for three somewhat middling yet still impressive stride and boogie-woogie-styled numbers (these are his only piano recordings). Newcomers shouldn't hesitate to start here."
Both by Stepehn Cook -All Music Guide
-King of the Tenors
"This 1953 date matched Webster with such peers as alto saxophonist Benny Carter, trumpeter Harry Edison, and pianist Oscar Peterson for a series of elegant yet soulful and exuberant small group dates. With no cut longer than four and a half minutes, the players didn't have time for excess statements or overkill; they had to quickly get to the heart of the matter in their solos, make their points, and return to the head. The original session has been enlarged by the addition of two previously unissued tracks, plus an alternate version of "That's All" that was later issued as a single. Label head Norman Granz excelled in producing swing-oriented, crisply played mainstream dates. Although this date is more than four decades old, Ben Webster's solos have a freshness and vitality that make them quite relevant to contemporary events."
Ron Wynn -All Music Guide