Sunday, January 31, 2010
Ben WEBSTER & Tete MONTOLIU - Gentle Ben 1972
Recorded at Casino de l'Aliança del Poblenou, Barcelona, on November 28, 1972
Rare Spanish import CD. Track Listing 1. Ben's Blues 2. Man I Love, The 3. My Nephew Bent 4. How Long Has This Been Going On 5. Sweet Georgia Brown 6. Don't Blame Me 7. Did You Call 8. Barcelona Shout Album Notes Personnel: Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Tete Montoliu (piano); Eric Peter (bass); Peer Wyboris (drums). Recorded at Casino De L'Alianca Del Poblenou, Barcelona, Spain on November 28, 1972. Includes liner notes by Carlos Sampayo. Ben Webster was just as much an anomaly as a man as he was a musician. Who would refuse to let Duke Ellington sit down at the piano at his own rehearsal? Who would also secretly try on all of Ellington's best suits, stretching them out in the process? Who would have a chance meeting with Joe Louis and punch him for fun? Ben Webster would. These stunts were not without reprisal--Webster was fired from Ellington's Orchestra, and took a swing from the boxing champ that landed him in the hospital. On GENTLE BEN, we hear him performing with Tete Montoliu's trio in a session recorded just 10 months before the tenor legend's death. One wouldn't know it from the quality of these performances, however. Highlights include his ballad work, especially tunes such as "The Man I Love" and "Don't Blame Me." His smoky tone and legato phrasing are still in full bloom on these selections, while other tunes, such as "Ben's Blues," show that he could still swing hard, even late in his career.
This aptly named set was recorded on November 28, 1972 in Barcelona, Spain. Although many of Ben Webster's European sessions suffered when compared to his American ones, this outing is one of the exceptions, due in no small part to the fluid piano work of Tete Montoliu. Supported by a rhythm section of Eric Peter on bass and Peter Wyboris on drums, both Webster and Montoliu have plenty of room to breathe, and the result is a wonderful and pleasant set highlighted by the opening track, "Ben's Blues," and an easy, elegant version of "Sweet Georgia Brown." Webster's trademark breathy tenor sax tone is in full supply here, but the real revelation is Montoliu, who prooves to be a marvelous jazz pianist, making Gentle Ben somewhat of an overlooked gem.
By Steve Leggett. AMG.
Ben Webster -Tenor Sax
Tete Montoliu- Piano
Peer Wyboris- Drums
Eric Peter- Bass
01. Ben's Blues (Webster) 9:04
02. The Man I Love (George & Ira Gerswhin) 5:34
03. My Nephew Bent (Webster) 5:21
04. How Long This Has Been Going On (George & Ira Gerswhin) 8:03
05. Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie-Pinkard-Casey) 6:32
06. Don't Blame Me (Fields-Mc.Hugh) 8:00
07. Did You Call (Webster) 8:41
08. Barcelona Shout (Webster) 4:39