"It's a wonder that Ben Webster and Harry "Sweets" Edison didn't record more albums in this format, but we are quite fortunate to have this classic. It has all the essential qualities of great jazz: relaxed, swinging, soulful and well executed. Edison shines on the blues and medium bounce songs, while Webster plays some of the most romantic saxophone ever heard on the ballads. Hank Jones, whose playing adapted to both the swing and bebop worlds equally, accompanies and solos with masterful elegance. The recording quality is excellent as well, in keeping with the fine Columbia products of the era."
Two of the best ever, still gettin' down into the '60s..
douglasnegley | Pittsburgh, Pa. United States | 09/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The title track, "Better Go" reminds me a whole lot that this CD sets up a lot like "Buck and Buddy - Blowin' the Blues"; but then comes Ben Webster swooping in on "How Long Has This Been Going On" and I'm immediately reminded how much better of a CD this is - no disrespect to Buck (one of my all-time favorites) or Buddy. But, my God, what a beautiful pair Webster and Edison make! 'Sweets' rips up the opener and right away shows that he is in top form, with George Duvivier laying the 4/4 down. "Kitty", track three, has Hank Jones comp-ing nicely over Edison, then "the Brute" blows 'em away...leaving Hank to do the best he can. "My Romance" finds Webster romantic, indeed, and I can almost hear the string orchestra on "Ballads" in the back of my head. Just beautiful. Jones opens "Did You Call Her Today" with a nice Duke/Count double tribute, and 'Sweets' rides over the "Mellowtone-like" composition first, besting Ben this time, but not by much. Jones then gets off his best solo of the session, again comp-ing nicely to the finish. 'Sweets' closes out with the ballad "Embracable You". Clarence Johnston deserves a mention on drums due to perfect backing on everything, especially this one - he comes in halfway through and doesn't disturb 'Sweets' one bit. All in all, a real All-Star date for a real All-Star pair."
Fully pleasant 40 minutes of sax, trumpet and rhythm...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 11/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the CD booklet says, this 1962 studio session paired Webster and Edison, late in their careers, to record their brand of mainstream jazz. Each started in the 1930's. Each played with a giant bandleader, one with Basie, one with Duke. Their style evolved into the bop, hard bop and third stream movements of the '40's and 50's and 60's. This disc mixes swing with ballads, and lets Ben and Sweets alternate solos. It's all good. For a person like me, who wants a jazz collection with at least one CD by everyone who made an impact between WW II and the JFK assassination, this item serves as a fine introduction to Webster and Edison. After hearing this, I am inclined to pursue more tracks by each guy."
Gerard Powers | Manchester, NH USA | 11/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD really cooks. Ben Webster's silky smooth tenor is a perfect foil for Harry Edison's muted trumpet. Good support from the bass player too. I listen to this CD over and over again without tiring of it. This is a desert island pick for sure."
Nikica Gilic | 12/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With Ben Webster and Harry "Sweets" Edison blowing at their creative peak, how can you go wrong?
However, although this album holds a very special place in my personal jazz history, I just feel that both giants have given much better performances elsewhere (for instance at Sweets Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson (20-Bit Master) , Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster , or at that grand and fabulous "Tatum Group Masterpieces"/"Lionel Hampton and his Giants" album)...
Well, don't get me wrong; Ben is as sonorous and subtle as he can be, Sweets is discreetly and subtly singing, the rhythm section is also very good, but I still feel this should have been a better album. But, maybe it's just me..."