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Ben Webster

Ben Webster was considered one of the "big three" of swing tenors along with Coleman Hawkins (his main influence) and Lester Young. He had a tough, raspy, and brutal tone on stomps (with his own distinctive growls) yet on ballads he would turn into a p**sy cat and play with warmth and sentiment. After violin lessons as a child, Webster learned how to play rudimentary piano (his neighbor Pete Johnson taught him to play blues). But after Budd Johnson showed him some basics on the saxophone, Webster played sax in the Young Family Band (which at the time included Lester Young). He had stints with Jap Allen and Blanche Calloway (making his recording debut with the latter) before joining Bennie Moten's Orchestra in time to be one of the stars on a classic session in 1932. Webster spent time with quite a few orchestras in the 1930s (including Andy Kirk, Fletcher Henderson in 1934, Benny Carter, Willie Bryant, Cab Calloway, and the short-lived Teddy Wilson big band).

In 1940 (after short stints in 1935 and 1936), Ben Webster became Duke Ellington's first major tenor soloist. During the next three years he was on many famous recordings, including "Cotton Tail" (which in addition to his memorable solo had a saxophone ensemble arranged by Webster) and "All Too Soon." After leaving Ellington in 1943 (he would return for a time in 1948-1949), Webster worked on 52nd Street; recorded frequently as both a leader and a sideman; had short periods with Raymond Scott, John Kirby, and Sid Catlett; and toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic during several seasons in the 1950s. Although his sound was considered out-of-style by that decade, Webster's work on ballads became quite popular and Norman Granz recorded him on many memorable sessions. Webster recorded a classic set with Art Tatum and generally worked steadily, but in 1964 he moved permanently to Copenhagen where he played when he pleased during his last decade. Although not all that flexible, Webster could swing with the best and his tone was a later influence on such diverse players as Archie Shepp, Lew Tabackin, Scott Hamilton, and Bennie Wallace. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Ben Webster And Associates

Comments

I love his tenor sax sound wish i had one like it saxaphones are where its at!!
Needs more cowbell
Whoa.
There are no words to adequately describe
Mr. Ben Webster`s talent.
None whatsoever.
Ben Webster, his sound will bring you out of the darkness into the light.
Ben Webster so rich and warm, like hot coffee on cold winter night.
Ben Webster was unlike anyone else. His ballads are so wonderful, so full of emotion and a kind of sadness too, in my opinion.
...man, I could listen to Ben play all day long...
@herman5445 - if you say so it must be true...
Beautiful voice but, I thought it was a woman until I looked @ the name. How unique & totally awesome!!
Deke Rivers is a racist
rosemark13
yeah, that's what I was thinking. But then I'm just glad someone else has a shorter attn' span than I and am just thankful.
You could have made at least one reference to Ben Webster in that rambling bio of Oscar Peterson (who, admittedly, is great) so we could click on it and learn more about Ben Webster. Unless that just took us back to Oscar Peterson.
i dont think Pandora reads any postings.. if they did some should be removed,, lol
pandora..cle a n this bio mistake up..how many times do you have to be told thanks
plotnick
This is Oscar Peterson's bio! Not Ben Webster's
Who is doing these bios? Now playing Ben Webster and I get the Oscar Peterson Bio!????
My favorite of the 'big three'. Every time he comes on my ears perk up and I stop to listen. Never stops amazing me. Just when I think it might be someone else it's Ben. Superb phrasing, tone, and soul to spare.
When I heard this beautiful voice for the 1st time I thought it was Billy; but to my surprise it was this unique tenor and his voice is also a wonder!
haladayj
Another Oscar Peterson bio under Ben Webster's name. Irritating.
haladayj
Why is Oscar Peterson's bio here under Ben Webster's name? Fix this, Pandora.
lastgasp61
wrong bio
My favorite tenor man of all time. Tone & soul to spare!
dody8
Dear marti153, you are absolutely correct. Here's to HAL.
Every one of us should send an email to Attn MANAGEMENT, re:mixed-up Biographies (i sent one an hour ago). I don't think it's just the JAZZ Genre w/a problem... TO GET TO the email-contac t - o p t i o n you FIRST have to CLIK on the ABOUT lynk at the BOTTOM of this page. This is an IT/programme r / s i t e design problem. Tell them you love them, but be stern about this : Investors,ne c e s s a r y for Pandora to stay above-water, notice this kind of sloppiness!
marti153
Why no corrections? There are no people at Pandora. It's run automaticall y by a big computer named HAL.
Pandora - well at least you have ONE of the Big Three's bios up there but IT IS STILL WRONG! Aside from that - I love, love, love this man's tone! My all-time fave tenor man.
Not one mention anywhere here of the fact that one of THE greatest lyrical collaboratio n s ever in contemporary jazz history was 'Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster'- (as is GMs with the great Paul Desmond) SO-if by some sad mischance the album somehow got past you then go out of your way to get it & dig it!!! Track one-'Chelsea Bridge' is alone worth the price of the album & then some --but it's ALL COOL nothing less than inspired lyrical tenor/barito n e duets. If you know it revisit! ENJOY!
The great Ben Webster is the one and only Ben Webster. Why does Pandora have no direct feedback so that we can correct their mistakes?
Now you have Roy Eldridge's picture and Budd Johnson's bio instead of Ben Webster's. What the f*&k is wrong with you people? Are you all smoking that s*&t? Well, stop it and wake the f$#k up! Stop dis-respecti n g the African-Amer i c a n Jazz musicians whose bio's you keep screwing up.
marti153
I wrote it out in full but your stupid software censored it. Shame!
marti153
What prissy nonsense is it that can't write out in full p**sy cat?
I love the old band style. The United States Needs more good music.
kelllargo
what is with this bio?
teddygrahams
It is the wrong bio !!!
Ben Webster was considered one of the "big three" of swing tenors along with Coleman Hawkins (his main influence) and Lester Young. He had a tough, raspy, and brutal tone on stomps (with his own distinctive growls) yet on ballads he would turn into a p**sy cat and play with warmth and sentiment. After violin lessons as a child, Webster learned how to play rudimentary piano (his neighbor Pete Johnson taught him to play blues).

http://allmu s i c . c o m / a r t i s t / b e n - w e b s t e r - p 7 7 9 3 / b i o g r a p h y
This iS NOT BEN WEBSTERS bio
maia.swans
WRONG BIO!
I don't know if I want Midwest BBQ or hits the "traps" at about three in the morning for a 'cuttin' session, when I hear me some Big Ben.
As of May 18, you still have the Oscar Peterson Pic and Bio under the Ben Webster site.
ebreezeyeri
Pandora needs to take the OSCAR PETERSON pic AND bio off the Ben Webster site.
Thanks to Pandora I get to listen to all of this Wonderful Real Jazz Music.... I Love, Love this Type of Music... I think I was born in the wrong era....
dayasaki
I love Ben Webster!
My favorite tenor sax man. I love a lot of them but Ben makes me weep inside.
You've got your picture and headline data crossed with your bio copy. Ben Webster's picture with Oscar Peterson's bio. Come on guys, get it together.
shermanb300
try actually commenting on the player, not the missing bio. the level of musicality and emotion poured into - no, not poured into, embodied by - by the music of Ben Webster continues to influence musicians to this day. Webster's music, at least for me, evokes emotions of incredible loneliness and painful solitude, but also emotions of unbound love and freedom.
Folks, for any bad bios on Pandora, send them an email and they'll fix it. I've done it before and it worked.
drydocked
this bio is for the wrong person
i would lovvvvve to see this fixed
Why is it that the screwed-up bios on Pandora are always of African-Amer i c a n Jazz musicians?
I'm also listening to Ben Webster and the Bio is for Oscar Peterson.Wha t s up with that?
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