The first DVD of Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual TV series combines three separate 30-minute programs previously available individually as videos; obviously this is the better way to acquire them, both financially and from a preservation standpoint. Count Basie's appearance is a bit unusual. Gleason parks himself next to the piano following the opening number and remains there throughout the show, making Basie seem nervous and rather uncomfortable with his host during the interview excerpts and rarely, if ever, looking Gleason in the eye while talking to him.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A rare 50s performance – featuring a smoking version of "The Afro Suite" – plus some more boppish numbers too! Dizzy Gillespie was recruited as a special guest to perform on March 13, 1955, in concert with the Orchestra (a Washington, D.C., big band), a date that was recorded by Bill Potts and not initially released until 1983 by Elektra Musician. Although there was only a brief rehearsal of Gillespie with the band prior to their performance of the trumpeter's "The Afro Suite" (which includes "Manteca" plus a trio of pieces written in collaboration with Chico O'Farrill), they provide excellent support for this extended work, which features the composer extensively.
Concord Music Group will release five new titles in its Original Jazz Classics Remasters series on September 17, 2013. Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, bonus tracks (some previously unreleased), and new liner notes to provide historical context to the originally released material, the series celebrates the 40th anniversary of Pablo Records, the prolific Beverly Hills-based label that showcased some of the most influential jazz artists and recordings of the 1970s and '80s.
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.
Basie on the Beatles is an album by pianist and bandleader Count Basie featuring performances recorded in late 1969 and released on the short-lived Happy Tiger label. It was Basie's second album of Beatles' compositions following 1966's Basie's Beatle Bag and featured liner notes by Ringo Starr.
Part of Verve's Jazz in Paris series, Jazz in Paris: Cognac Blues features various tracks recorded by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie during the '50s in France. All of the material included in the series is stellar and makes for excellent listening. The tracks are not necessarily rare, but are often ignored in favor of the more popular late-'40s Gillespie material. Fans and collectors looking for a great compilation of Gillespie's work overseas should appreciate this.
Sarah Vaughan is accompanied by her regular rhythm section of the early '80s (with pianist George Gaffney, bassist Andy Simpkins, and drummer Harold Jones), guitarist Freddie Green, and the Count Basie horn sections on this enjoyable date. The arrangements by Sammy Nestico and Allyn Ferguson unfortunately do not leave much room for any of the Basie sidemen to solo, but Sassy is in superb form. She is at her best on "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues," a remake of "If You Could See Me Now," and a rapid "When Your Lover Has Gone," although some listeners may enjoy her overly dramatic rendition of "Send in the Clowns."