On March 27th 1909 Benjamin Francis Webster was born in Kansas City.
Ben Webster was considered as one of the big three of tenors which liked to swing, these players were Coleman Hawkins
which turned out to be his main influence, there was also Lester Young, who had a brutal tone on the sax, but later on ballads he would turn his sound into the most
gentle sound, which would be full of warmth.
Shortly after Violin lessons when Webster was a child, he would learn to learn the basics of piano, (his neighbor Pete
Johnson showed him how the play the blues). Shortly after this Webster was introduced to Budd Johnson, Webster began to learn the basic of jazz from him. At this time Webster played in a young bands, which included at the time Lester young. Webster spent his time playing around with orchestras with people such as Andy Kirk and Cab Calloway. In 1940 Webster was finally given the first tennor place in Duke Ellington's big band and over the years
he was on famous recordings such as Cotton Tail and "All to soon", after finishing with Ellington’s band he recorded frequently, which included him as a main man, but also as a sideman.
Ben Webster was well known for using mostly one kind of set up, his sax was a 1938 Paris
"balanced action" model. The mouth piece he was using was a New York Otto Link
as well. Incidently Webster named his sax "Betsy
which is now being held at the The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University
Ben Webster died September 20, 1973 in Amsterdam.
All are as good as each other, but the last one is in my opinion my favioute, Hawkins and Webster play so well together, their styles so drasticaly different.