Ben Webster: Old Folks

The comments to the above clip point out that Ben Webster clearly is crying after Teddy Wilson’s piano solo. The explanation provided — there is no way to verify it, of course — is that Johnny Hodges, with whom Webster had played in Duke Ellington’s band, had just passed away.

Everything Webster played was beautiful. One story that I read in more than one place is that when Webster began rehearsing a song that had lyrics he would learn those words in order to play them on his sax.

Here is Flying Home — the tune I originally was going to embed until Old Folks popped up — The Brute, C-Jam Blues, Chelsea Bridge and Over the Rainbow. The New Yorker did a piece on Webster about ten years ago. Basic biographical information and discographies can be found on many sites dedicated to Webster, including these two.

A special acknowledgement is due to the JazzVideoGuy, who initially posted a lot of these clips and others that I use. He does a terrific job of, well, doing what his name says.

Related

The Daily Music Break offers daily and weekly emails. I won’t use your email address for anything else. Promise.

Close this popup

About The Author

5 Responses

  1. Scott Dwight

    Thanks for the great Ben Webster clip. Never got to see him live, but I did see Teddy Wilson. One of the most under-rated and under appreciated classic jazz musician. My friend Sammy turned me on to this site. I’m always surprised and delighted by your postings.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.