Doug Webb – Renovations – Posi-Tone PR 8075, 52:04 ****½:
(Doug Webb, saxophones; Stanley Clarke, bass; Gerry Gibbs, drums; with pianists Joe Bagg, Larry Goldings, and Mahesh Balasooriya)
It was less than six months ago that we sang the praises of Los Angeles-based saxophonist, Doug Webb, when we reviewed his Posi-Tone CD, Midnight.
Doug’s resume includes many years with Doc Severinson’s Tonight Show band, as well as movie work for Clint Eastwood on Million Dollar Baby, and Gran Torino. He has appeared on over hundreds of recordings for legends like Freddie Hubbard, Quincy Jones, and Horace Silver.
It is great news that Posi-Tone has brought Doug back into the studio for another session so soon. He is back with band mates Stanley Clarke on bass and Gerry Gibbs on drums. Three different pianists split duties on the set of standards presented here.
You can’t go wrong with Doug’s mellow tone on “Satin Doll.” It’s made to order for a consummate pro like Doug. Joe Bagg has a nice piano solo to complement Doug’s playing. “Then I’ll be Tired of You” opens with a sensitive intro by Larry Goldings before the lyrical plus Webb treatment. "I Can’t Get Started” has always been a favorite of mine and Webb’s version is taken in bop time.
"I’ve Never Been in Love Before” is as relaxing as a warm cup of cocoa on a chilly night. “You’ve Changed” from the pen of Clare Fischer sounds as if it belongs in a movie soundtrack, which is no surprise as Webb has had so much session work for TV and in the movies for Clint Eastwood.
Toots Thielemans’ “Bluesette” done on soprano sax doesn’t need Toots’ harmonica to be recognized. Doug gives it a good workout. Henry Mancini’s “Slow Hot Wind” ends this thoroughly enjoyable visit with Doug Webb. Kudos to Posi-Tone for continuing to bring Webb’s talent out to a national audience. As always, production values are first class as Posi-Tone does things right with each instrument mixed and recorded superbly.
TrackList: Satin Doll, Then I’ll be Tired of You, I Can’t Get Started, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, You’ve Changed, They Can’t Take That Away from Me, Bluesette, Slow Hot Wind
— Jeff Krow