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1-06-2015, 01:13

Ben Webster & Johnny Hodges - The Complete 1960 Sextet Jazz Cellar Session (2011)

Category: Music

Ben Webster & Johnny Hodges - The Complete 1960 Sextet Jazz Cellar Session (2011)
Artist: Ben Webster & Johnny Hodges
Title Of Album: The Complete 1960 Sextet Jazz Cellar Session
Year Of Release: 2011
Label: Solar Records [4569895]
Country: USA
Genre: Mainstream Jazz
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue,log) | Mp3
Bitrate: Lossless | CBR 320 kbps
Time: 73:18
Full Size: 450 MB | 176 MB

+ Mp3

This 1960 set is said to be the only recording session on which Ben Webster and Johnny Hodges were the only two horn players. At least, that applies to the first dozen tracks. The last five come from an octet session recorded a year later. The first twelve were recorded at the Jazz Cellar in San Francisco; the last five were recorded somewhere in Los Angeles.
The line-up gives Webster and Hodges the chance to show their paces without much interference. In fact they had played together in the Duke Ellington Orchestra for various periods from 1935 onwards, so they knew one another closely, and their empathy comes through on these sides. You might say that Hodges is to the alto sax what Ben Webster is to the tenor. Their distinctive saxophones blend well together, even though they have slightly different styles. They both actually have a sweet legato style of playing, although Webster can get gruff and growly when he wants to. Their main similarity is that they both aim for (and achieve) mellowness of tone - and they can both swing with the greatest of ease. The staccato single notes of guitarist Herb Ellis contrast nicely with the saxists' predominantly smooth mode.
I knew the name of Wilfred Middlebrooks already but hadn't realised before what a solid and driving bassist he is. Note his powerful tone in such tracks as Side Door and I'll Be There. Lou Levy contributes some clear-flowing piano solos, and Gus Johnson plays a couple of short outspoken drum solos.
Two other Ellingtonians - Ray Nance and Lawrence Brown - join Webster and Hodges for the last eight tracks, with a different rhythm section and the addition of vibist Emil Richards, who broadens the sound palette. But the main attractions are still the two saxophonists, starring in a leisurely Exactly Like You and an upbeat Tipsy Joe, which matches the best of the small-group Ellington recordings of the thirties and forties. Talk about a dream team: Webster and Hodges must be one of the best.
-- Tony Augarde


01. Ben's Web (5:08)
02. Side Door (Don't Kid Yourself) (5:49)
03. Blues'll Blow Your Fuse (4:22)
04. I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me (2:47)
05. Dual Highway (3:15)
06. Big Ears (4:50)
07. Shorty Gull (3:46)
08. Ifida (4:36)
09. Big Smack (4:52)
10. I'd Be There (5:16)
11. Just Another Day (5:48)
12. Lollalagin Now (2:52)
13. Exactly Like You (2:52)
14. I'm Beginning to See the Light (4:01)
15. Val's Lament (4:10)
16. Tipsy Joe (5:29)
17. Waiting on the Champagne (3:25)

Ben Webster - tenor saxophone
Johnny Hodges - alto saxophone
Lou Levy - piano
Herb Ellis - guitar
Wilfred Middlebrooks - bass
Gus Johnson - drums
Recorded (not live) at the Jazz Cellar, San Francisco on November 22 1960.
Ray Nance - trumpet
Lawrence Brown - trombone
Emil Richards - vibes
Russ Freeman - piano
Joe Mondragon - bass
Mel Lewis - drums
Jimmy Hamilton - arranger
Recorded in Los Angeles on January 31, 1961.


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