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.
Stephanie Mills was a native New Yorker having been born and brought up in the borough of Brooklyn. She first tasted success as a singer at the age of 9, winning the famed Apollo Theatre’s amateur hour several weeks in a row, which opened the doors to Broadway as a cast member in “Maggie Flynn” and as opening act for The Isley Brothers. Mills big break came in 1975 when she landed the lead role of Dorothy in the critically acclaimed Broadway musical “The Wiz,” based on The Wizard Of Oz. Jermaine Jackson was suitably impressed and was instrumental in helping her get signed to Motown Records to record her second album after “Movin’ In The Right Direction” on ABC records in 1974.