1930 to 1980
March 27, 1909 in Kansas City
September 20, 1973
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Benjamin Francis Webster (Kansas City, Missouri, USA, March 27, 1909 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 20, 1973) was an influential American jazz tenor saxophonist. Ben Webster, a.k.a. "The Brute" or "Frog", was considered one of the three most important "swing tenors" along with Coleman Hawkins (his main influence) and Lester Young. Known affectionately as "The Brute", he had a tough, raspy, and brutal tone on stomps (with his own distinctive growls), yet on ballads he played with warmth and sentiment. Stylistically he was also indebted to alto star Johnny Hodges, who, he said, taught him to play his instrument.