Ben Webster

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The Official Ben Webster Website



Benjamin Francis Webster (March 27, 1909 - September 20, 1973) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Webster, born in Kansas City, Missouri, is considered one of the three most important "swing tenors" along with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. Known affectionately as The Brute, or Frog, he had a tough, raspy, and brutal tone on stomps (with growls), yet on ballads he played with warmth and sentiment. Stylistically he was indebted to alto star Johnny Hodges, who, he said, taught him to play his instrument. Early life and career: Webster learned to play piano and violin at an early age before learning to play the saxophone, although he did return to the piano from time to time, even recording on the instrument occasionally. Once Budd Johnson showed him some basics on the saxophone, Webster began to play that instrument in the Young Family Band (which at the time included Lester Young). Kansas City at this point was a melting pot from which emerged some of the biggest names in...

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