During Webster’s last years, his performances could sometimes be quite uneven. However, the 13 songs (75 mins.) here all find him sober and focused, be it in the swingers or the tender ballads. Fairly enough, his affinity with an Ellington-related repertoire is reflected here, as half of the songs are from Duke’s book, some in quartet settings, some with The Danish Radio Big Band. Plenty of added attractions, too: Kenny Drew, Teddy Wilson, NHØP, and – a bit unusual – fellow tenorist Dexter Gordon sharing the stage with Webster in a ten-minute C Jam Blues.
For newcomers, about to dig into Big Ben’s music, this compilation of latter-day Webster (1967 through 1970) is just about perfect.
All tunes are taken from previous Storyville releases.