Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blast From The Past: Ben Webster & Teddy Wilson

This video features two of the most lyrical jazz musicians of all time: Ben Webster and Teddy Wilson. Both musicians had beautiful and unique tones on their instruments as well as emotionally oriented styles; everything they did was very musical, and this is displayed greatly in this video.
Ben Webster's ballad playing is seen by many as the epitome of ballad playing. His lush and robust tenor saxophone sound is very romantic and emotional without being overly sentimental. These musicians create a beautiful aura around the music that they play; notice the vibe that they create in this video - and also notice how quickly they create it.
This video would make a great audio track, but it is very interesting to watch as well. Notice, at the beginning, that Teddy Wilson begins the tune a tad faster than Webster wanted it. Notice how he snaps the tempo down to his liking. Also, notice around 4:45 that Webster begins to cry. In my research, I read that before this performance Webster was informed of Johnny Hodges' death. While this may or may not be true and may or may not be the cause of the tears, it is not hard to imagine tearing up simply because of the beauty of the music at hand.

No comments: