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The Essential Count Basie, Vol. I

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Album Review

Rather than release all of Count Basie's studio recordings (as Decca recently has or as French Columbia did in two large LP sets over a decade ago), CBS has put together three samplers that contain some (but not all) of the essential Basie recordings from the 1939-41 period. This first volume has Lester Young's great solo on 1936's "Lady Be Good," and the classics "Rock-A-Bye Basie" and "Taxi War Dance, " and fine examples of the Basie orchestra throughout 1939.

Biography

Born: 21 August 1904 in Red Bank, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '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. Basie's orchestra was characterized by a light, swinging rhythm section that he led from the piano, lively ensemble work, and generous soloing. Basie was not a composer like Duke Ellington or an important...
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