Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson (Remastered) Ben Webster & Oscar Peterson

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  • 1The Touch Of Your Lips06:16
  • 2When Your Lover Has Gone03:56
  • 3Bye Bye Blackbird06:41
  • 4How Deep Is The Ocean (How High Is The Sky)02:31
  • 5In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning03:09
  • 6Sunday03:54
  • 7This Can't Be Love09:50
  • Total Runtime36:17

Info zu Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson (Remastered)

Hier ist eine der klassischen Partnerschaften im Jazz. Es gibt keine nennenswerten Arrangements - ein 8-taktiges Intro ist hier nur Effekthascherei -, so dass Ben Webster, der Mann mit dem hauchigen, höhlenartigen Sound, ein Programm mit zeitlosen Liedern spielen kann. Der Pianist Oscar Peterson ist die perfekte Ergänzung. Sein müheloser Swing stellt den Tenorsaxophonisten genau so auf, wie er es mag. Eine Meisterklasse in Saxophon-Balladen.

"Oscar Petersons Wahnsinns-Quartett mit Ray Brown (Baß) und Ed Thigpen (Drums) und dem Meister der warmen Töne am Tenorsaxophon: Das gibt einen seeligen Traum voll wunderschöner Balladen. Da bleibt nur eins: entspannen, zurücklehnen und genießen." (Audio)

Ben Webster, Tenorsaxophon
Oscar Peterson, Klavier
Ray Brown, Kontrabass
Ed Thigpen, Schlagzeug
Herb Ellis, Gitarre (on Soulville)
Stan Lee, Schlagzeug (on Soulville)

Digitally remastered

Ben Webster
The nickname ”The Brute and the Beautiful” was aptly given to tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. He became famous for his beautiful sound which gave his ballad playing a unique touch of tenderness, while his playing in faster tempos was virile and filled with growl, and when sober he was the kindest and gentlest man, witty and entertaining and the natural center of the gathering, while he was unpredictable and violent when he had consummated too much of alcohol. Despite this Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde-personality he was a much loved musician and recorded a fairly amount of excellent records of which most still are in stock, due to the fact that he is the best selling tenor saxophonist in jazz.

Ben(jamin Francis) Webster was born in Kansas City, MO on March 27, 1909. In elementary school he studied violin and taught himself piano, inspired by the nearby living Pete Johnson who taught him to play the blues. In 1927 he played for silent movies in Kansas City, but left town a little later to play with a small territory band, but in the spring of 1928 he was again playing for silent movies, this time in Amarillo, Texas. Here he met Budd Johnson who taught him how to make a sound on a saxophone, and Webster got so interested that he borrowed an alto saxophone. In 1930 he left Amarillo with Gene Coy’s Happy Black Aces, and after a few months Coy baught him his first tenor saxophone, because ”I couldn’t express myself on alto. The tenor had a bigger sound.”

From then on, Webster’s carreer took some fast leaps forward. After Coy, he joined first Jap Allen’s band and then Blanche Calloway’s before he became a member of Bennie Moten’s important band and contributed some fine solos on the band’s famous marathon recording session in December 1932, such as Moten Swing. Shortly afterwards, Webster returned to Kansas City where he got hired by Andy Kirk, and in June 1934 he went to New York to play with Fletcher Henderson’s famous orchestra, actually switching job with Lester Young who in turn went to Kirk. The next few years were spent with Benny Carter (late 1934), who was the first to see Webster’s potential as a ballad interpreter (Dream Lullaby), Willie Bryant (1935-36), Cab Calloway (1936-37), before he rejoined Henderson in July 1937 for a short year after which he joined first Stuff Smith and later Roy Eldridge in New York. During these years, Webster also participated in some small group recording sessions, notably those led by Teddy Wilson and Billie Holidaye e.g. What a Little Moonlight Can Do.

In April 1939 he became a member of Teddy Wilson’s big band and was its most important soloist, but a dream came true when he was offered a permanent job in Duke Ellington’s orchestra. He therefore left Wilson in January 1940 and went to Boston to play his first job with Ellington. (Actually he had subbed for Barney Bigard on two short occasions, in 1935 and 1936).

Webster stayed with Ellington until early August 1943, and it was during these years he gained national and international fame with recordings like Cotton Tail - which became his signature tune - Jack the Bear, Harlem Air Shaft, and Sepia Panorama.

Webster started out as a Coleman Hawkins disciple, but under the influence of Ellington his style matured and became more personal. In quick tempos his solos contained great rhytmic momentum, a rasping timbre and an almost brutal aggressiveness, while his ballad playing was breathy and sensual, delivered with one of the most beautiful sounds ever captured on a tenor saxophone.

After leaving Ellington, Webster formed his own small groups or played with other small ensembles, e.g. John Kirkby in 1944 in New York. In late 1948 he rejoined Ellington for a short year, after which Webster returned to Kansas City to play with Bus Moten, Bob Wilson and Jay McShann. From 1952 he spent his time between Los Angeles and New York playing with his own groups, freelancing, or recording with a variety of soloists, among them singers like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, and Jimmy Witherspoon with whom Webster toured reguarly around 1960.

Webster toured with Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic in the fall of 1953 and 1954, and it was also Granz who was instrumental in giving Webster a recording contract that gave his career a new lift with excellent albums such as King of the Tenors (1953) and Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson (1959. For more information visit:

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson
was born on August 15, 1925 in Montreal, Quebec and passed away on December 23, 2007 in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada at the age of 82.

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson was born on August 15, 1925 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Daniel and Kathleen Peterson. Daniel, a porter for the Canadian Pacific Railroad and an amateur pianist, wanted his children to share his love for music. At the age of five, Oscar began to play both piano and trumpet, but a bout of tuberculosis at age seven led him to concentrate on the piano.

A strict disciplinarian, Daniel gave his children musical assignments each time he left on a trip for the railway. Oscar later credited his father with instilling in him the art of discipline and hard work, and when not playing baseball the boy spent hours practicing the piano. He received early training from his sister Daisy, who introduced him to the fundamentals of classical technique and repertoire.

Growing up in the Little Burgundy neighborhood of Montreal, Peterson was exposed to thriving jazz culture of the era. He recalled sneaking downstairs while his parents were sleeping so he could listen to Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Artie Shaw on the radio A key early influence on Peterson was pianist Art Tatum, whose florid, imaginative style dazzled fans and musicians alike. Peterson was first exposed to Tatum as a teenager, when his father played him one of the elder pianist’s records. “I remember saying, ‘Hey, that’s wild. Who are those guys?’” Peterson told National Public Radio’s Bob Edwards in 2003. When his father responded that all of the sounds on the recording were produced by only one man at the keyboard, “I didn’t believe him for a while,” Peterson said. The boy was so awestruck after hearing the record that he didn’t touch the piano for over a week.

At the age of fourteen, Peterson began to study with noted classical pianist Paul de Marky. Unlike many classical teachers at the time, de Marky did not discourage the boy’s interest in jazz. A first prize on the Ken Soble amateur radio show led to the opportunity to perform on a weekly broadcast on CKAC in Montreal, just as his idol Tatum had done in his teens in Ohio. In his final years of high school, Peterson also performed with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson in an ensemble called The Montreal High School Victory Serenaders.

Peterson’s weekly radio broadcasts led to other opportunities to perform on shows such as The Happy Gangand The Light Up and Listen Hour. In 1942, Peterson joined the Johnny Holmes Orchestra, which at the time was one of Canada’s most popular jazz ensembles. In 1947, Peterson formed his first trio with bassist Ozzie Roberts and drummer Clarence Jones, and the group regularly performed at the Alberta Lounge, a popular club in Montreal.

While performing at the Alberta Lounge, Peterson first met promoter Norman Granz, the founder of Verve Records. In 1944, Granz had begun to series of all-star concerts at the Philharmonic Hall in Los Angeles. These concerts spawned the popular Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) series of national and international tours and recordings, which provided work for many of the Swing era’s greatest musicians in the postwar period.

Granz discovered Peterson in an odd way. Granz was in a cab being taken to a Montreal airport, when he heard Peterson on the radio, playing live at the Alberta Lounge. Granz was so impressed that he insisted the driver take him to the club to meet the talented pianist. Peterson and Granz began an enduring working relationship that lasted for years. The 24-year-old Peterson made his debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall on September 18, 1949 as a “special guest” at a Granz-organized JATP concert with bassist Ray Brown, but was uncredited on the bill due to musicians’ union restrictions.

Peterson traveled frequently with the JATP roadshow, which led to opportunities to record and perform with other JATP members, like tenor saxophonist Lester Young. In 1953, he formed a trio, as Tatum had done, with Brown on bass and guitarist Herb Ellis. Ellis left the trio in 1958 and was replaced by drummer Ed Thigpen, who performed with the ensemble until 1965.

On September 13, 1952, Peterson returned to Carnegie Hall with the JATP and performed Tenderly as part of a special feature at the concert for his trio. He begins the introduction with subtle ornamentations before promptly going into several rapid lines. The simplicity of the backing provided by guitarist Barney Kessel and bassist Ray Brown enhances Peterson’s raucous but gentle performance.

The fifties were a time of intense musical activity for Peterson, as he traveled with the JATP and recorded frequently with his own trio and with other Granz-associated artists, such as Lester Young, Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Highlights from this period include his July, 1952 version of “Stormy Weather” with Billie Holiday, his November, 1952 recording with Young of “There Will Never Be Another You,” his trio’s October 10, 1957 recording with Getz of “Pennies from Heaven,” and his October, 1957 album with Louis Armstrong.

After settling into Toronto in 1958, Peterson, along with Brown, Thigpen, trombonist Butch Watanabe and composer Phil Nimmons founded the Advanced School of Contemporary Music. The school offered classes in improvisation and tried to communicate a sense of the jazz tradition. Peterson and his colleagues eventually found that the school demanded too much of their time and decided to abandon the project after only three years.

In 1964, Peterson released his Canadiana Suite, a series of eight compositions that pays homage to his native Canada. On Wheatland, Peterson displays a deeply refined feel for lyrical sophistication in his solo. The understated accompaniment of Brown and Thigpen serves to cast Peterson’s performance in high relief.

Peterson toured the world through the next decade. In 1972, he began to appear more often as a concert soloist, and also worked in television, and produced his own series in 1974 and 1978. Also in the 1970s, he performed with symphony orchestras and in duos with trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, and guitarist Joe Pass. He and Gillespie recorded a memorable duo album for Granz’s Pablo label in London in 1974, which included their rendition of Juan Tizol’s “Caravan.”

In 1981, Peterson released the album Nigerian Marketplace. Initially conceived as an homage to South African leader Nelson Mandela, Peterson developed the title track into the first of eight movements in his “Africa Suite.” Peterson first recorded Nigerian Marketplace at the 1981 Montreux Jazz Festival. On “Nigerian Marketplace,” Peterson begins the song by playing sparsely, allowing bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen to take center stage with the strong, lingering melody. The song slowly builds in tempo, letting Pederson showcase a powerful solo full of harmonic complexity.

Beginning in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Peterson limited his touring schedule to focus on composing. Later in his life, Peterson developed an interest in electronic instruments, building a large collection of equipment for use in creating film scores and to refresh his musical ideas. From 1991 to 1994, Peterson served as the chancellor of York University in Toronto. In 1993, he suffered a severe stroke which significantly weakened the left side of his body. The injury took him away from performing for two years, but he eventually overcame the injury and resumed performing. In 1997, he performed and recorded with his protege pianist Benny Green. Also in 1997, Peterson received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement and the International Jazz Hall of Fame Award.

A 2003 performance by Peterson was recorded on video and released on DVD as A Night In Vienna. The concert featured Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, guitarist Ulf Wakenius, and drummer Martin Drew. Towards the end of his career, Peterson continued to tour the United States and Europe, though usually for only one month a year.

Peterson ultimately succumbed to kidney failure on December 23, 2007 at the age of 82 at his home in Mississauga, Canada. Peterson is survived by his fourth wife, Kelly Peterson and their daughter Celine. Peterson had also had six children from his first and third marriages: Lyn, Sharon, Gay, Oscar Jr., Norman and Joel. (Source:

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