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Jazz History Quiz #114


The correct answer is Ben Webster!



“Considering his size and temperament, it is odd that the violin was Ben Webster’s first instrument.  He soon exchanged it for the piano, which he played well enough to obtain work accompanying silent movies.  It was also as pianist that Ben did his first professional work with bands, touring the Midwest territory.  At this time, he met the slightly younger Budd Johnson, from whom he received his first saxophone lessons.  But it was Lester Young’s father, with whose band he worked for three months, who taught him enough saxophone for Ben to switch instruments for good.  (During this time, Ben also saved Lester from drowning in a river.)  Ben never gave up the piano completely, however, and loved to play some stride for his friends.  Accuracy was not his strong suit, but he had a terrific beat.”

  • Dan Morgenstern, from the liner notes to the 1986 compilation The Complete Ben Webster on EmArcy






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