Georgia On My Mind (Live)
This pleasing compilation draws from albums that Ben Webster recorded in the U.S. in the ‘50s and ’60s prior to his move to Denmark in 1964. The tenor saxophonist had been a major jazz figure since the ‘30s, but his star had waned a bit by the time of these sessions; still, he still sounds wonderful. “Like Someone In Love,” “Soulmates” and “Trav’lin’ Light” come from Soulmates, which finds Webster backed by pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. “My One and Only Love,” “All the Things You Are,” and “Have You Met Miss Jones?” originally were included on The Tatum Group Masterpieces, Vol. 8, and that 1956 meeting does not disappoint as Art Tatum’s dazzling runs and Webster’s soulful lines mingle with ease. The Benny Carter gem “Lula,” taken from 1962’s BBB and Co., features solos from Webster, Carter, clarinetist Barney Bigard, and others. Centennial Collection closes with two live cuts, “Caravan” and “Georgia On My Mind,” that were recorded at a Hollywood club in 1960. The band, which includes the guitarist Jim Hall, is in fine form on this pair of classics.