More than 35 years after his death Ben Webster's music remains fresh, contemporary and original; his distinctive sound still enchants and engages at each listening. The American tenor saxophonist came to Europe in 1964, at the relatively late age of 55, and never returned to the States. Webster had previously put off coming to Europe because of his intense fear of flying but when he finally arrived he was soon crowned King of Tenors by the thousands of fans who gave him their love and respect. Although he longed for his musical roots in the US he never went back; not only because of his fear of flying - he liked being in Europe.
This 8CD box set has more than 10 hours of Ben Webster's music including previously unreleased tracks. The sessions were recorded mainly between 1964 and 1973 in Europe, mostly in Scandinavia, and include live recordings from festivals, clubs and radio and television broadcasts. They feature Webster at Copenhagen's famous Montmartre club and other Danish locations as well as sessions from his renowned month-long residency at London's Ronnie Scott's (his first job in Europe). Completing the set are recordings from Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and several tracks recorded before he left New York.
Webster is heard in various settings - from trios to big bands - in the company of contemporaries including Teddy Wilson, Clark Terry, Buck Clayton and Dexter Gordon. The booklet is illustrated with some great photos of Webster and gives a very personal insight from his closest friends and associates into his life and loves, his music and the colourful anecdotes that arose everywhere this remarkable musician went.