Ben Webster

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About Ben Webster

Saxophonist Ben Webster first gained recognition as a featured soloist with the Benny Moten band in the early 1930s. After stints with Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, and Cab Calloway, among others, he joined the Duke Ellington band in 1940, galvanizing its veteran reed section. Duke showcased him on such masterpieces as "Cottontail" and "All Too Soon," but the volatile tenor man left after a few years, continuing to play in a wide variety of contexts. Though perhaps less an innovator than Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young, he completes the trio of great pre-war tenors, and his warm, breathy sound is instantly recognizable.

Kansas City, MO, United States of America
March 27, 1909