From July 26, 1952 to December 12, 1953, Count Basie continued to record for Norman Granz's Clef label, variously utilizing a quintet, sextet, nonet, and 16-piece big band. Released in 2005, this volume in the Classics Chronological Series documents all of the issued studio titles from this time period, neatly omitting no less than 15 Birdland radio broadcasts so as to focus upon the Count's protean adventures within the intimate confines of recording studios in New York and Los Angeles. Basie's excellent instrumentalists include trumpeter Joe Newman, trombonist Henry Coker, reedmen Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Paul Quinichette, Marshall Royal, Ernie Wilkins, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, and Charlie Fowlkes. This album also features guest appearances by Oscar Peterson (he and Basie take turns playing organ and piano), vocalist Al Hibbler, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Buddy Rich.
Throughout his career, Count Basie was modest about his own abilities as a pianist, and his success at streamlining his style to the bare essentials often made listeners underrate his playing talents. This 1974 session was a rarity, an opportunity for Basie to be featured in a trio setting (with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Louie Bellson), during which he provides enough variety to hold one's interest and enough technique to lead many to reassess his piano skills.
This superb 5-CD collection compiles all existing live recordings made by the Atomic band at the Crescendo Club, in Hollywood, in the summer of 1958, for the first time ever on a single edition. The sound quality is excellent throughout the set. Count Basie’s career was revived in late 1957 thanks to the success of the Neal Hefti-arranged LP Atomic Basie, which became one of his biggest hits. The orchestra was filled with stars, and Joe Williams’ vocals were heard to great effect supported by Hefti’s excellent scores and the superb quality of the band.
All the tunes recorded by this legendary label. Each volume represents one year's recording activity: 1937, 1938 and 1939. Featuring Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Jo Jones, among others. Newly remastered. I don't have much to say about this compilation. Hey, it's Count Basie from the late 1930s! What more need be said?! Just listen to the "skeletal" piano by the genius Count Basie. Talk about the use of white space! And, of course, that absolutely KILLER rhythm section! I will mention that all of the tracks are presented in the sequence they were recorded except for the alternate takes which are at the end of each disc respectively. Presumably, the alts presented here were recorded at the same time as the masters (as implied, though not overtly stated, in the booklet).
Count Basie was among the most important bandleaders of the swing era. With the exception of a brief period in the early '50s, he led a big band from 1935 until his death almost 50 years later, and the band continued to perform after he died…
"A Classy Pair" is a most apt title for this session, which features Ella Fitzgerald and the final incarnation of the Count Basie Orchestra, perhaps the last major big band to exist under the baton of its namesake. Recorded in February 1979 and produced by the legendary Norman Granz, these nine tracks show Fitzgerald in a somewhat better light than the orchestra.
Bristling with excitement and electricity, this 1958 album represents the finest accomplishment of Count Basie's "New Testament" big band. His "Old Testament" band of the late 1930s, featuring stars Lester Young, Herschel Evans, Dickie Wells, and Buck Clayton, perfected the blues-drenched, straight 4/4 rhythm of Kansas City swing. Building on the blues foundation, this 1950s band features more ambitious compositions and a more dynamic sound and incorporates more modern developments. ~ Amazon