His life and music – Ben Webster

He has been described as ‘the best loved of all saxophonists, perhaps of all jazz musicians’ (The Penguin Guide to Jazz). Yet there has not been a biography of Ben Webster until now. Best known for his ballads, Webster had the most personal and immediately identifiable sound in all the music. He was Duke Ellington’s premier tenor player. He also played with Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, Teddy Wilson, and Billie Holiday. Charming and offending by turns (the latter linked to his fondness for the bottle), Webster was called ‘The Brute and the Beautiful’ and ‘the Jekyll and Hyde of the tenor sax.’

Paperback . $15.95 . 292 pages . 23 photos . ISBN 1893163172


Reviews about Ben Webster, his life and music:

,,A scattershot but valuable effort by the Dutch writer Jeroen de Valk’’ – Whitney Balliet in The New Yorker

,,This heartfelt, yet very frank narrative about a true icon of jazz, reveals introspective data regarding an enigmatic jazzman’s complex life.’’ – Floyd Levin in L.A. Jazz Scene

,,An excellent book… It is perhaps sad that no American has been able to write such a biography, and there may be more to learn about the mystery of Ben Webster. But no one else has been able to tell us as much as De Valk and it’s unlikely they could tell it as well. We are grateful for it.’’ – Frank Rutten in Coda

,,The descriptions of Webster’s playing, and of the gradual evolution of his wholly unique style, are sufficient to earn the book an unreserved welcome.’’ – Brian Priestley in Jazzwise