"They don't come much better than Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson. And this CD demonstrates why.From Webster's opening on "The Touch of Your Lips" to the final notes of "This Can't Be Love", these two great artists combined to create one of the best albums in jazz history. Its impossible to listen to this and not find yourself getting carried away. The highlight of the album, though, is Webster's rendition of "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning". As the liner notes state, its not surprising that Webster captures this Sinatra classic perfectly given the fact that he'd probably listened to it hundreds of times before this recording was made. All the same, the lush, lyrical, tone he achieves is simply awesome, and it lead me to wonder what a duet between Ben and Frank might've sounded like.......Not only do you need to buy this album right now, when you get it you need to play it as loud as possible with all the windows open. Everyone in the world deserves to hear this one."
NOW THIS IS WHAT JAZZ IS ALL ABOUT
Giovanni | Chicago, IL | 08/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson...two of the most revered names in music history. It doesn't get much finer than this album. While this CD will leave you yearning for more because there are only a handful of tracks here; the sentiment and urgency of the playing here transports one to uncharted delightful heights. When I first heard this version of IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING, I suspected it was Ben Webster, but literally stopped what I was doing and hoped the radio station would announce who it was (luckilly they did and I confirmed what I thought!) What a great surprise it was to find my favorite pianist, the immortal Oscar Peterson was backing Ben on this wonderful album!
At that point I rushed to find this CD. The ballads, in addition to the aforementioned WEE SMALL HOURS, are absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful heartache in the reading of WHEN YOUR LOVER HAS GONE borders on definitive. SUNDAY and THE TOUCH OF YOUR LIPS lope along in a somewhat swinging vein, and are equally as classic. Norman Granz often paired up some unlikely stars with fantastic (and sometimes surprisingly so) results. This is one such occassion that really comes across. A classic album that must be heard and must be had!"
A Masterwork by Two Masters
Kenneth James Michael MacLean | Ann Arbor, MI USA | 03/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow. I dug this CD out of my collection today and had another listen, and I'm sure glad I did.
Today's jazz is all over the place, with different jazz styles and a lot of indifferent playing as well. But this recording is the work of 2 masters of their instruments. Swinging, bluesy and melodic, all of the tunes are on a such a high level. It is a delight to listen to, and never gets stale. Anyone can swing and play a lot of notes, but it takes a real master to play ballads. Ben Webster's playing on this recording is at the very highest level ever recorded. He's authoritative, bluesy, and seductive.
This music has a quality you just don't hear anymore in today's jazz. It comes from an era (1959) when all of the very best jazz musicians were alive at the same time, competing for an audience and listening to each other's recordings.
Whether you are a collector, or just a listener who appreciates great music, this is a must buy."
Beautiful sounds of jazz
Nikica Gilic | Zagreb, Croatia | 12/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, when I hear Webster blow his horn I'm smitten by the sheer beauty of his sound; the way he carresses his mouthpeace and blows his horn somehow produces warm and complex tone, capable of extremely wide range of emotion, impressive in all registers, but always beautiful (without even a hint of schmaltz or kitsch...).
In upper register he sometimes sounds sensitive like a violin, without pathetic quality (jazz) violinists can have in their upper register playing, in lower register my whole body reverberates with his power. And for all this to take place it is not even necessary that he is caught at the peak of his form or in the right company!
Well, at this album he is right there at his peak and, in the company of impressive range and dinamism of Oscar Peterson and his trusted gang (Ray Brown /b/ and Ed Thigpen /dm/), the things could hardly go wrong. I'm particularly pleased with "When Your Lover has Gone", which is a great and logical material for such a group of great musicians, but it is interesting to compare Webster's treatment of children song Bye Bye Blackbird, famous in jazz circles for Miles Davis' definitive treatment. Also; pay attention to the "In the Wee, Small Hours of the Morning"...
Although Ben is a star of this occasion and Oscar his trusted sidekick, other two musicians also get their licks and kicks, proving, yet again, how mainstream jazz can be a very powerfull mode of artistic expression.
A great CD!"
Jazz at it's finest... simply a perfect recording!
JoeyD | los gatos, ca | 02/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those to-good-to-be-true recordings that you will never get tired of listening to. Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson are just amazing together! Really folks, it doesn't get any better than this. A soft, seductive, and serene collection of ballads that will keep your feet tapping and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I had this one on really loud one hot summer day and at least four of my neighbors came by inquiring about what I was playing. They all made a point to tell me later that they purchased the CD and thanked me over and over again. This is a perfect recording through and through! Out of the just over 400 jazz albums (CDs) I own, this one is definitely in my top 20, maybe in my top ten. Brown (bass) and Thigpen (drums) are, as always, brilliant! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! However, if you only enjoy it half as much, then it still will be worth purchasing it. This is what jazz is all about!"