Johnny – That Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster was really good. I hear some fluttering from Ben Webster once in awhile . Is that your influence on fluttering? I just Listened to Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster. I really like both of these guys. I can hear the Hawkins influence in the music of Sonny Rollins.
Yeah Mel, Hawkins definitely had a huge impact on Sonny Rollins. In early jazz (especially in early jazz saxophone), there were three main players. Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Ben Webster. Coleman went balls to the wall, yet had an incredible knowledge of jazz harmony. It was bebop rhythms that put him out of place in music, but he was a fantastic player. Lester Young had a lighter sound, and he sort of floated over the top of the melody in a way. His thin and light style became very influential to people like Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, and John Coltrane in the mid 20th century. Ben Webster had an incredibly gruff tone, which contrasted with his beautiful subtones. These three men paved the way for the future of jazz and for jazz saxophone, and they are all unique. My favorite is Ben Webster. I never get tired of hearing him play. Sonny Rollins was different than many other saxophone players in the way that he was more influenced by Coleman Hawkins than Lester Young, who at that point in time most people tried to imitate. It’s great listening to this old time music and knowing that these men influenced so many people even today. You’re listening to some great stuff.
Ya Aminn just like me has studied those guys too. I also regard Webster as my favorite, not only out of those 3 early influences but all-time.
his tone is amazing and for me, is what a tenor jazz saxophone should like like because he can be big, smooth, raunchy, sweet and sexy all in the same tune. Nobody can play those low, breathy, sexy sub-tones nicer than him. Also he’s one of a few jazz players that really growls too.
there is a kinda documentary on him (I have it but on VHS…what!!!) don’t even have a machine to play it anymore. But if you ever run across this watch it it’s awesome….it’s called “Ben Webster, The Beauty and The Beast”. That pretty well spells it out as I was saying about how he can be sweet and raunchy almost at the same time….I love it.