The forerunner of this LP, Ben Webster's Soulville was extremely successful, even for Verve standards. It was only logical, therefore, to invite Ben to a further studio session in New York in July 1958.
But for the recording of The Soul Of Ben Webster, a completely different ensemble had been called together. The trumpeter Art Farmer - best known for Cool Jazz - along with Harold Ashby - a fellow musician from the Ellington crew - and the swinging rhythm group guarantee that "Big Ben" (as he was known) didn't lose his bearings during the superb harmonic progressions.
"Chelsea Bridge," surely played in a thousand different ways by Duke Ellington's orchestra, is a real gem even when performed by a small ensemble, as here. All in all, this is a convincing medium-sized ensemble made up of remarkable protagonists whose improvisations are of the very highest caliber from beginning to end. And that opinion is still valid even 50 years later!
|Brand||Verve Records / Analogue Productions|
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