Actually I am not big fan of jazz mixing with strings - it seems to have a muzaky feeling to it. But ... this album is so well done, Webster's playing is so amazing, that there is no way anyone could call this muzak. The sound is excellent. It was recorded at Radio Recorders - a great sound studio that was very popular in Hollywood in the 50s. The strings are extremely lush and Webster sounds as if he is in the room with you. One additional note - Webster's signiture breathy sound is much less breathy than in later albums. Not better, not worse - just a different sound than I am used to hearing. I highly suggest this LP to any Webster fan and anyone looking for a big fat mellow sound.« By T. Butler on August 7, 2004
I grew up on late 70s and early 80s R&B and soul music and then aggressively got into hip-hop. Hip hop music was the music that began to expose me to the jazz classics that seldomly became sampled in the art form. I'm grateful for that and I have been an avid collector of jazz music for 15 years now. I buy music randomly and at the spur of the moment and from many artists I have never heard of ... so yes, do own a whole lot of musical garbage! but sometimes I get lucky .. like this album here. This was my first Ben Webster album (of which I now own five) and this one still remains my favorite. This is music for a grown spirit ... it is indeed warm and quiet and lush. Buy this as soon as possible, you'll enjoy it.
By R. Davis on May 1, 2001
Review: London Jazz News, March 2016, by Andrew Cartmel
This sumptuous and dazzling album was recorded for Frank Sinatra’s Reprise label in 1961 and in the long years since then it has become a sought-after rarity on LP, elusive and expensive, with immaculate copies almost impossible to find. But that quandary has been solved by the British label Pure Pleasure who have now brought it back into print in a fabulously restored version on 180 gram virgin vinyl. This is great news because the value of The Warm Moods lies not just in the playing of its headline soloist Ben Webster, but also the writing of the celebrated Mexican-American arranger Johnny Richards who has created a hip and decorative nest of strings for the birdsong of Webster’s tenor
After years of having to battle it out on eBay for what transpire to be fatally scratched and crackly fifty year old copies, it’s a dream come true for listeners to have this classic recording back in the catalogue, available in mint condition, purchasable at the press of a button, and sounding quite superb.
hi-fi + Dennis Davis, January 2016
Recording 9.5/10 Music 8.5/10
Warm Moods features Ben Webster backed by a string quartet and a rhythm section. The strings here do not overwhelm the soloist or over-sweeten the mood, yet some jazz lovers will reject this music out of hand because of the strings, to their own loss. While Webster recorded great sessions until he died in 1973, he was at his peak in the late 50s and early 60s, and his playing of twelve balladson his early 1961 session is prime Webster.
From 'Stella by Straight' to 'I'm Beginning To See The Light', Webster is in control of his instrument, blowing pure bliss. If sexual references are ever appropriate to the playing of a musical instrument, Ben Webster's caress of the tenor saxophone surely provides proof of the formula. While his vibrato is not as pronounced as on some recordings, you can still feel the air vibrating in the room and see his vocal chords pulsate as he floats along from one classic to another. The strings and rhythm section stay out of the way and leave all the attention where it belongs-on Big Ben.
The sound complements the great recording, bettering the Reprise original by a fair margin. DD
Personnel: Ben Webster (ts); Armond Kaproff (vc); Cecil Figelski (va); Alfred Lustgarten, Lisa Minghetti (v); Don Bagley (b); Donn Trenner (p); Frank Capp (dr)
Recording: 1961 at Radio Recorders Studio, Los Angeles