Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ben Webster and the Lush Sound

My good friend Ken Laster did a podcast on Lester Young at his podcast In The Groove, which I can't praise enough. The podcast I mean, though the Pork Pie Hat tribute was delicious. I especially liked the Kevin Mahogany version of Mingus's incomparable standard 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,' with its lyrics. I also enjoyed very much Ken's previous podcast on the Autumnal Equinox. It almost had me dancing naked around a pole. Almost. Anyway, just in case any of my readers don't know about In the Groove, know about it now. I have probably purchased a hundred albums after hearing cuts on his shows.

Anyway, Ken's podcast put me in a nostalgic frame of mind. I have been concentrating on some pretty edgy jazz in recent months, and avant garde is laconic if nothing else. Well, one end of the spectrum can breed a taste for the other. So what should arrive on my doorstep today but a two CD collection by Ben Webster: Music for Loving. This music is so lush and plump you could use it for an airbag in an acrobatic jump.

I first heard Ben Webster on an album with Coleman Hawkins. I don't have it anymore, so I can't tell, but the memory suggests wonder. Anyway, Music for Loving is a splendid collection. A lot of it is Webster playing his tenor with a string orchestra behind him. I don't listen to a lot of that kind of music, but this is worth listening to. Some of the recordings are before a smaller combo, and a Harry Carney album is included. It is a very rich package of very rich jazz. Webster's sound has haunted every tenor who came after him. Get haunted with these samples:
Ben Webster/Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me/Music for Loving
Ben Webster/My Funny Valentine/Music for Loving
Enjoy. And don't forget to post a comment.


  1. Quoting KB; "It almost had me dancing naked around a pole." that visual is a bit too frightening. I know you are a talented guy, but had no idea that Pole Dancing was one them.

    Well, if I can return the compliment, I look forward to each of your posts on this blog, and certainly, it has turned me on to a lot of music I would not have heard had it not been for Jazz Notes. Keep up the good work.

    And just in case you get 'busted' again, you may find this article useful (from arstechnica).

  2. The "pole dance" was an equinox reference, not necessarily one involving a night club, but maybe autumnal festivals among our savage ancestors were kinda like nightclubs.

    Anyway, thanks again.

  3. try 'my romance' or 'time after time'.