Webster, Ben

Webster, Ben

▪ American musician
in full  Benjamin Francis Webster 
born March 27, 1909, Kansas City, Mo., U.S.
died Sept. 20, 1973, Amsterdam, Neth.

      American jazz musician, considered one of the most distinctive of his generation, noted for the beauty of his tenor saxophone tone and for his melodic inventiveness.

      Webster began playing the violin in childhood and then played piano accompaniments to silent films; after learning to play alto saxophone, he joined the family band led by Lester Young (Young, Lester)'s father. By 1930 he had switched to tenor saxophone, and he quickly became a leading soloist on that instrument. Through the decade he was a fixture in after-hours jam sessions in Kansas City, and he worked briefly in the bands of Fletcher Henderson (Henderson, Fletcher), Benny Carter (Carter, Benny), Cab Calloway (Calloway, Cab), and Teddy Wilson (Wilson, Teddy), among others. Although initially Webster's sound was nearly indistinguishable from that of his idol, Coleman Hawkins (Hawkins, Coleman), he soon began to develop a personal style.

      A full-time engagement as the first featured tenor saxophonist with Duke Ellington (Ellington, Duke) (1940–43) brought Webster into his own, and he matured as a soloist and unique musician. He often played raspy, growling solos on up-tempo numbers, yet he displayed a rich, breathy tone on ballads. His melodies were direct, and his sound was immediately recognizable. Recordings of Ellington numbers such as "Cotton Tail," "Chelsea Bridge," "Blue Serge," and "All Too Soon" showcase solos by Webster that are considered classics.

      Through most of the 1940s Webster worked in small bands out of New York and Chicago. Heavy drinking (which earned him the nickname “The Brute”) caused him many problems throughout his career, and for a time (1950–52) personal problems kept him off the scene. After this break he resumed his freelance activity, touring and recording with several of the most respected jazz artists. His sessions with Art Tatum (Tatum, Art) in 1956 were particularly important. Webster moved to Europe in 1964 (living first in The Netherlands, later in Denmark); he performed and recorded very actively throughout Europe until his death.

      Having established the expressive capabilities of the instrument, Webster had enormous influence on subsequent tenor saxophonists. Representative recordings include Art Tatum–Ben Webster Quartet (1956), Soulville (1957), and Duke's in Bed (1965). A documentary, Ben Webster: The Brute and the Beautiful, was released in 1989.

Additional Reading
Frank Büchmann-Møller, Someone to Watch over Me: The Life and Music of Ben Webster (2006).

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Universalium. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Webster, Ben(jamin Francis) — born March 27, 1909, Kansas City, Mo., U.S. died Sept. 20, 1973, Amsterdam, Neth. U.S. tenor saxophonist. Influenced by Coleman Hawkins and Johnny Hodges, he played in several important swing bands before joining that of Duke Ellington in 1940.… …   Universalium

  • Webster, Ben(jamin Francis) — (27 mar. 1909, Kansas City, Mo., EE.UU.–20 sep. 1973, Amsterdam, Países Bajos). Saxofonista tenor estadounidense. Con influencias de Coleman Hawkins y Johnny Hodges, tocó en varias orquestas importantes de swing antes de incorporarse a la de Duke …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ben Webster — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Ben Webster Ben Webster (Kansas City, 27 de marzo de 1909 Copenhagen, 20 de septiembre de 1973) fue un saxofonista (tenor) estadounidense de jazz. Está considerado como uno de los …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ben Webster (actor) — Ben Webster was a British born actor, and the husband of actress Dame May Whitty, and father of U.S. born stage actress, Margaret Webster.Ben Webster was born on June 2, 1864 in London, England, UK, and married his wife in 1892 in London. He… …   Wikipedia

  • Webster — Webster, Daniel Webster, John Webster, Noah * * * (as used in expressions) Webster, Ben(jamin Francis) Webster, Daniel Webster, John Webster, lago Webster, Noah Webster Ashburton, tratado …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ben Webster — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Webster. Ben Webster Ben Webster …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ben Webster — (* 27. März 1909 in Kansas City, Missouri; † 20. September 1973 in Amsterdam, Niederlande; vollständiger Name: Benjamin Francis Webster) war ein US amerikanischer Tenorsaxophonist des Jazz, der gelegentlich auch Piano und Klarinette spielte. Er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Webster — Emmanuel Lewis interpretó el papel de Webster Título Webster (España), Webster (Latinoamérica) Género Comedia de situación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ben Webster and MJQ - An Exceptional Encounter — is a live jazz recording from 1953 featuring Ben Webster and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Track listing # Confirmation (Charlie Parker) # You Are Too Beautiful # Lady Be Good (G. Gershwin I. Gershwin) # The Nearness Of You (H. Carmichael N.… …   Wikipedia

  • Ben Earl Looney — (June 2, 1904 May 25, 1981) was a Louisiana artist and author know for his Water Colors of Dixie and Cajun Country , pen and ink sketches of Acadiana.Looney was born in tiny Yellow Pine south of Minden, the seat of Webster Parish, to Julian A.… …   Wikipedia


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