Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
For the Guv'nor
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Some Same Old, Some Surprises
Sax Lover | 12/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's Ben Webster after emigrating to Europe, a little slower & playing some of the same old favorites of his with many of his oft-repeated phrases. But, beyond that, there are a couple of surprises worth checking out; primarily because it is 2 sessions on 1 CD.
The "Guv'nor" Ellington tunes are all fine, if somewhat predictable. The treat therein for me is "In A Sentimental Mood," not as improvisationally adventurous as the Coltrane/Ellington collaboration, but full to the brim with the emotion that makes this one of Duke's most moving compositions.
The other session yields Monk's "Straight, No Chaser," covered over & over, but never at the slow tempo favored by Webster, giving it a somewhat different feel. Nice to see some nod from Ben to the Bop era, when he helped to encourage & employ many rising stars, such as Charlie Parker among others, despite his stubborn adherence to the tried & true.
Also from the 2nd session is "Worksong," credited to Nat Adderley, but I seem to remember it being a Joe Zawinul tune, like "Mercy, Mercy," which he penned & performed in his Adderley days - could be wrong on that, but the rendition here is quite enjoyable.
As a piano lover, I like the 2 pianos sound, despite the negative reviews of Franz Wieringa's playing vs. Kenny Drew's, the 2 players on that date. The bitch is that Franz is way louder than Kenny -who is better, no doubt.
Criticism dept: Like many of Webster's later recordings, the sidemen's solos do run longer than their talent should allow, and the recording quality is less than par - primarily the botching of the sax tracks, of all things! Re-mastering with some corrective signal processing almost eliminates that problem, if you have such means at your disposal.
Good to hear a little Ben-Bop - also found on that live recording with the Modern Jazz Quartet, another CD with gems plagued by even worse mastering, again largely correctable with some signal processing software.
This CD is better than most reviews tell the tale."