Ten volumes into their seemingly never-ending, always-excellent By the Bayou series, Ace returns to R&B for Mad Dogs, Sweet Daddies & Pretty Babies. Like nearly all of its predecessors, this is primarily archival – i.e., there aren't a lot of familiar names, but there are acts that have popped up on previous Bayou installments because, at this point, it's been proven that the well is deep but not fathomless. Newly discovered cuts by unknowns can hardly be called "recycling," and this, like its cousins, is pretty close to straight-up aural dynamite.
CDs from this collection began to appear in the sale of one after the other in early 1998. The collection was designed primarily for fans of blues and those wishing to join him in France, Canada and other French-speaking countries, as its literary part was originally made in French and it seems and has not been translated into other languages.
Sean Webster has been sculpting his career in the blues/rock world for almost 25 years, since picking up the guitar at the age of 14. His debut album, 2004's Long Time Coming, secured him his first recording contract and showcased his fine guitar playing. His influences are wide and varied but include Albert Collins, Gary Moore, Mark Knopfler and especially Eric Clapton. His vocals have been described as amongst the best on the current music scene, drawing comparisons with Joe Cocker and Jonny Lang. Leave Your Heart At The Door is the next step for Sean, a finely tuned piece of work formed straight from the heart that further demonstrates his masterful use of musical phrasing whilst at the same time showing his ability to bare his soul through a gut-wrenching and often tear-jerking vocal delivery.
This 1953 date matched Webster with such peers as alto saxophonist Benny Carter, trumpeter Harry Edison, and pianist Oscar Peterson for a series of elegant yet soulful and exuberant small group dates. With no cut longer than four and a half minutes, the players didn't have time for excess statements or overkill; they had to quickly get to the heart of the matter in their solos, make their points, and return to the head. The original session has been enlarged by the addition of two previously unissued tracks, plus an alternate version of "That's All" that was later issued as a single. Label head Norman Granz excelled in producing swing-oriented, crisply played mainstream dates. Although this date is more than four decades old, Ben Webster's solos have a freshness and vitality that make them quite relevant to contemporary events.