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Ben Webster: See You at the Fair

Album Reviews:

Down Beat (4/93, p.48) - 5 Stars - Excellent - "...Ben was almost perfect in my book. A connoisseur of melody, a nonpareil embellisher, a hard-charging rhythmist, a master of tonal nuance--he scored on all counts. SEE YOU AT THE FAIR is an excellent example..."

Album Notes

Personnel: Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Phil Bodner (tenor saxophone, English horn); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Thad Jones (trumpet); Roger Kellaway (piano, harpsichord); Hank Jones (piano); Richard Davis (bass); Grady Tate, Osie Johnson (drums).

Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey between March and November 1964. Tracks 1-4 & 6-10 originally released on SEE YOU AT THE FAIR (Impulse AS-65), track 5 originally released on THE DEFINITIVE JAZZ SCENE-VOLUME 1 (Impulse AS-99) and tracks 11-12 originally released on MORE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse AS-75). Includes liner notes by Stanley Dance.

Digitally remeastered by Paul Elmore.

SEE YOU AT THE FAIR is part of the "GRP Legendary Masters Of Jazz Series."

On SEE YOU AT THE FAIR, we hear a mature Ben Webster performing with both a quartet and a nonet, featuring arrangements of tunes such as "Midnight Blue" and "Blues For Mr. Broadway" by Oliver Nelson. Webster's thick, often coarse, tone is heard on many of his solos, including "In a Mellow Tone," and the mid-tempo title track "See You At the Fair."

Coleman Hawkins' influence is quite apparent even on such later recordings as this.

However, on ballads such as "Over the Rainbow" and "Stardust" we hear a lush, relaxed approach, one that earned Webster the title of one of the great instrumental balladeers in jazz history. A compelling listen, SEE YOU AT THE FAIR is one of Webster's best later period releases, as well as his last recording made in the United States.


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