Ben Webster: In the Wee Small Hours


In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning


Ben Webster (tenor sax) and Oscar Peterson (piano)


Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson (Verve 314 521 448-2)

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Ben Webster (tenor sax), Oscar Peterson (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums).

Composed by Bob Hilliard & David Mann


Recorded: Hollywood, November 6, 1959


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Nobody's balladry differed more from his up-tempo style than Ben Webster's. On jump tunes, Big Ben growled and snarled like a ravenous rottweiler mistaking your leg for lunch. On ballads, he turned as breathy and fluttery as a butterfly's sigh. (They don't?) Anyhow, this pensive late-night plaint introduced in 1955 by Frank Sinatra is best heard as you lie awake alone with an antique clock quietly ticking in the background while the rest of the world is fast asleep. "When your lonely heart has learned its lesson," goes the lyric, "that's the time you miss her most of all."

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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