The biography of Ben Webster by Claude Carrière and Christian Bonnet , illustrated by Jeremy Soudant and accompanied by 2 compact discs.
Nicknamed “ the brute ” by Duke Ellington and his musicians, and “ the frog ” by other colleagues, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster could evoke the amphibian by the configuration of his eyes and eyelids; the comparison ends there. As for his other nickname, it must be admitted that our man's rough manners, especially when he indulged in excess libations, justified it from time to time.
However, the deep nature of Ben Webster can be found in the exquisite way in which he makes ballads his own, this authentic romanticism coated in tenderness with which he enriches the melodies with his unique sound. Let us melt under his attacks of vibrant sensuality and also taste the masochistic pleasures of this invigorating virility that the saxophonist displays at will on the removed pieces. The sides presented here undoubtedly belong to the saxophonist 's most constructive and accomplished period; let us appreciate its implacable virtues.