Friday, January 29, 2010

After Hours

Ben Webster & Teddy Wilson. Old Folks

This is some very late Ben - 1970 in Copenhagen. From the mid-sixties on, all the monster players couldn't get gigs in the U.S., so a lot of them headed to Europe. Ben settled in Copenhagen from 1964 till he died in 1973 (although he passed away in Amsterdam). For the life of me, I can't figure out why he starts crying during Teddy's solo. It's not that lyrical or anything. Everything's normal and suddenly, he's got tears running down his face. I dunno, maybe good memories, maybe bad memories. Perhaps the world was changing and he suddenly realized that there was nothing he could do about it. Whatever reason there is, this is a nice reading of an old warhorse.

UPDATE: Apparently, Ben was distraught over the recent death of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington's stalwart alto player. He died in the dentist's chair after an illustrious career of sounding the same for 40 years. Don't get me wrong; I love Johnny's playing and one of the things I truly admire about him is that he never changed.

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