Ben Webster/ Dexter Gordon: Baden, 1972

As with most older jazz releases, it’s available under several different names, but the gist of the recording is this: Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster, recorded together in Baden, Germany, in 1972.

“Some Other Blues” (yup, Coltrane’s): with Gordon’s playing Coltrane (the influencer playing the influencee)–clearly hear the similarities between the two; Gordon’s hard, fluid (cocky) lines, highlighted against 1) the less calm slightly sharp nasal ‘Trane’s older version; and 2) the scratchy purrrasping pipe organ: the majestic dying of Webster’s slowing, slowing, slowing lines here and now.

In a mellow tone“: a perfect song to compare newer and older players: how busy will the new player make it? It highlights impatience– it’s mostly Gordon all over the place (though cleverly) like the chicken hawk in looney tunes cartoons; Webster patient, velvety. “I say, I say boy… slow down, ya bother me.”

All songs melt into each other….

“Blues in F” nice basic stretching-out number… everybody take a deep breath. We’ve got time here. Let’s use the time here.

“Sunday” sweet drum solo punctuated with horns; “Didn’t We” with Gordon introducing it rather than ballad ninja Webster… it also has the briefest running time and gets to the point the most quickly; closer “Perdido” the longest, gives both tenor men time to… time to… whatever…(get this or “Didn’t We” if you cherry-pick).

Sit down. Listen. Disappear.

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