Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ben Op Zijn Best

The LP record Ben Op Zijn Best ( WS 6802 656 ) of Ben Webster is one of my favorites. The music is great and Ben plays at his bests ( as the title suggests ). I love to play this record. It is as Michiel de Ruyter says in the liner notes: U zult hem veel draaien !
Although I touched upon this subject in a previous blog I love to tell you more about this recording.

This record was made at the time Ben Webster lived both in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. He liked both places and had friends to play.

In 1970 Albert Heijn, a well known Dutch supermarket, wanted to make a record to sell in its shops. There was but few budget for the record, so the tunes for the records should be public domain. The musicans were all Dutch, Ray Kaart p, Herman Schoonderwalt as, Rudy Brink ts, Cees Slinger p, Rob Langereis b and John Engels on drums. The recordings took place at the Sound Push studio in Laren 5th of Aug. 1970.

I read somewhere that one of the audio engineers present at the studio was not content with the results, especially with Ben's typically use of his instrument at the end of some tunes, like on Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen. He wanted to cut Ben's final tones. The musicans had to convince the technician that Ben's hissssssshes at the end of the tunes were well done and should be on the record. That happens if outsiders .....


BEN WEBSTER: Ray Kaart p, Herman Schoonderwalt as, Ben Webster ts, Rudy Brink ts, Cees Slinger p, Rob Langereis b, John Engels on drums.
Recorded Sound Push studio in Laren 5th of Aug. 1970.
Ben's Little Scheme
Billy Boy
Deep River
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
Steff's Shoes
Ida (Sweet As Apple Cider)
Carry Me Back To Old Virginia
Released at RWst 6802656 as Ben op zijn best - RCA 741060 and Black Elephant 822005 as Ben at his best.
Has this record ever been reissued on CD?

Ben in Amsterdam

The record was sold at Albert Hein supermarkets for Dfl 4.95. It was sold out within a few weeks.

So far so good.

A few month later the record was reissued in Paris as Ben at his best ( RCA 741.060 ) without the permission or knowledge of one of the musicians. Ben was furious and suspicious. He believed that the Dutch musicians sold the record without his permission. It gave a lot of trouble and finally the misunderstanding was accomodated, although Ben and the musicians never became close friends again.

If you want to read the complete story learn Dutch and find it in Jeroen de Valk's great biography Het Levensverhaal van Ben Webster. (or simply find the English version Ben Webster - His Life and Music. )

In the Dutch Jazz Archive in Amsterdam you can visit an exhibition called Ben Webster In Amsterdam with photo's made by Ton van Wageningen ( up to 1st October 206)

I used part of this subject already in a small blog 10 March 2006 ( Ben Op Zijn Best )

Bedankt Astrid voor je aanvulling !


Blogger jose luis said...

Bueno, después de mucho tiempo lo encontré. Un tal Bill (holandés)informó en el blog Kingcake crypt los links para bajarlo de aquí; así lo hice y lo estoy escuchando, me gusta todo lo que grabó Ben.
Muchas gracias por tenerlo desde hace tantos años y por toda la información brindada respecto a la gestación del disco.

9:14 PM  

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