PLAYS BALLADS consists of live and studio broadcasts with the Danish Radio Big Band and small Swedish, British and Danish/American groups between 1964 and 1971.
Personnel includes: Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Teddy Wilson, Ole Koch Hansen, Kenny Drew, Stan Tracy, Lasse Sjosten (piano); Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Hugo Rasmussen, Ricj Laird, Sture Nordin (bass); Makaya Ntsoko, William Schlopffe, Al Heath, Jackie Dougan, Bjarne Rostvold (drums).
Includes liner notes by Brian Priestly.
Personnel: Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Ole Molin (guitar); Erling Christensen (strings, saxophone); Hans Schwenger, Per Ludolph, Holger Bjerre, Mogens Holm Larsen, Stanley Carlson, Anton Kontra, Aage Bertelsen, Ove Winther, Kurt J. Jensen, Finn Ziegler (strings); Bent Juul Nielsen, Jesper Thilo, Sahib Shihab, Uffe Karskov, Flemming Madsen (saxophone); Jesper Thilo Quartet (tenor saxophone); Henry Henkel, Allan Botschinsky, Rolf Ericson, Palle Mikkelborg, Palle Bolvig, Perry Knudsen (trumpet); Poul Jorgensen, Torolf Molgaard, Per Espersen, Ole Kurt Jensen (trombone); Lasse Sj?sten, Stan Tracy, Kenny Drew, Ole Kock Hansen, Teddy Wilson (piano); Bjarne Rostvold (drums, congas); Makaya Ntsoko, Fredrik Nor?n, Albert "Tootie" Heath, William Schiopffe, Jackie Dougan (drums); John Steffensen (congas).
Liner Note Author: Brian Priestley.
Recording information: Danish Radio, Denmark (12/11/1964-11/22/1971); Odd Fellow Pal?et, Copenhagen, Denmark (12/11/1964-11/22/1971); Pori Jazz Festival, Finland (12/11/1964-11/22/1971); Ronnie Scott Club, London, England (12/11/1964-11/22/1971); Stampen, Stockholm, Sweden (12/11/1964-11/22/1971).
Photographer: Jan Persson.
Many have hailed Ben Webster as one of the best instrumental balladeers in jazz history. His vibrato laden, smoky tone makes the music really sizzle. Webster's ballads are sultry and romantic, joyous and sentimental. Recorded late in his career, PLAYS BALLADS is an album dedicated to soft, lyrical--and most of all--mellow music.
Most of PLAYS BALLADS was recorded for Danish Radio in the late '60s and early '70s just prior to the tenor legend's death. The songs selected were among Webster's favorites, including "Stardust," "My Romance," "Willow Weep For Me," "Old Folks," and others. Two of the songs, "Cry Me a River" and the traditional "Greensleeves" are heard here as full blown orchestral arrangements showcasing the skills of arranger Neils Jorgen Steen. PLAYS BALLADS is essentially the final installment in Webster's "With Strings" series that began in 1954 with MUSIC FOR LOVING.
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