This aptly named set was recorded on November 28, 1972, in Barcelona, Spain. Although many of Ben Webster's European sessions suffered when compared to his American ones, this outing is one of the exceptions, due in no small part to the fluid piano work of Tete Montoliu. Supported by a rhythm section of Eric Peter on bass and Peer Wyboris on drums, both Webster and Montoliu have plenty of room to breathe, and the result is a wonderful and pleasant set highlighted by the opening track, "Ben's Blues," and an easy, elegant version of "Sweet Georgia Brown." Webster's trademark breathy tenor sax tone is in full supply here, but the real revelation is Montoliu, who proves to be a marvelous jazz pianist, making Gentle Ben somewhat of an overlooked gem.
Eric Benét is a contemporary R&B singer with mild hip-hop and strong adult contemporary influences. As a teenager, he performed in a family vocal group (appropriately named Benét) with his sister and cousin. The group signed with EMI and released an eponymous album in 1992 that largely went unnoticed. Eric blazed his own trail as a solo artist shortly afterward, signing to Warner Bros. and releasing his debut album, True to Myself, in the fall of 1996. A Day in the Life followed in 1999. Its first single, a cover of Toto's "Georgy Porgy," was a moderate radio hit, but it was the album's second single, "Spend My Life with You" (featuring Tamia), that helped put him on the map.
In an easy listening mode, Alhambra Love Songs is Zorn’s touching and lyrical ode to the San Francisco/Bay Area and the wonderful artists who have made it their home. Including tributes to artists as diverse as Vince Guaraldi, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch, Mike Patton and Harry Smith, the music is some of the most beautiful and soothing Zorn has ever written.