Monday, August 26, 2013

Ben Webster - Verve Jazz Master 43

While a great number of jazz saxophonists can equal or even best Ben Webster when it comes to outright wailing, it's hard to beat this guy when it comes to the slow, sultry numbers. When he lays down a dreamy tune like "That's All," you can hear his every breath as his saxophone sighs, quivers, and moans. His instrument truly comes alive when it's taking on the slow songs.

This particular album is another fine entry in the Verve Jazz Masters series. Back in the day, Verve started buying up many of the great names in jazz, putting out quality albums and giving their predominantly African American artists a fair shake in ways that other labels had never done. The Jazz Masters series is no joke. Verve had some of the true masters of jazz in their stable, and this series compiles some of the best tunes from each of these artists.

I honestly don't know how much more quality Ben Webster stuff there is outside this compilation. This album represents the sum total of my Ben Webster knowledge (I try not to pretend that I really know jazz. I only know a few key things about a few key artists). As such, I really enjoy it. You really can't do much better than some of the finest songs by one of the genre's finest artists.

Baleeted? Not when it's the only thing I own by this guy.

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