Basie Is Back
Count Basie and His Orchestra
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Critics have often had reservations with any ghost band touring long after the death of the leader, along with the retirement or death of the musicians that helped make the band famous. But the Count Basie Orchestra has remained active since their leader's death in 1984 for one good reason: the musicians hired to take the place of previous players have been true to the band book while still offering swinging solos. Unlike the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which was handicapped by the death of the leader (who also served as an arranger and composer who wrote specifically for the strengths of individuals who played with him), Basie's band relied more on an easygoing swing and less of a personalized sound that could be comprised severely due to someone's departure.
That said, the new edition of the band, led by trombonist Bill Hughes utilizes both existing band charts and updated treatments of favorites. As a result, this concert recording proves that Basie's music is not a museum piece to be played with exactness, but with ears open to the future. Most of the repertoire, aside from obvious requests like "One O'Clock Jump" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside," come from the band's repertoire of the '50s and '60s, with a few twists. The lush ballad "We're in Love Again," a feature for baritone saxophonist John Williams, was a rare composition by Ellington's star baritone saxophonist Harry Carney. Sadly, the liner notes fail to identify the soloists, though each of the performances is enjoyable. One Basie veteran who returned to the fold for this concert is drummer Butch Miles, who appeared on a number of Basie's recordings in the second half of the '70s. Of all the so-called "ghost" or "tribute" bands active in the 21st century, the Count Basie Orchestra remains on top by a wide margin, with the proof evident on this swinging live CD.
this album and the atomic basie album got me into basie, the band is great, with and without the leader, all the songs are great recordings, especially corner pocket, were in love again, and whirly-bird, but all of them are amazing recordings. buy this album
Not Even Close to the Real Thing
I picked this up against my better judgement. I am a Basie fanatic. Although this is ok, it doesn’t hold a candle to the fire and unstoppable rhythm of the real Basie band when Bill Basie was at the helm. The original band was so much tighter in every way imaginable. Pick up the original albums from the late 50’s and early 60’s for what I wonder to be Basie’s finest band and era. The New Testament t band during the Roulette Records period is the way to go!
Top Albums and Songs by Count Basie and His Orchestra
||Jumpin' at the Woodside (1938 Version)||The Best of Early Basie||3:05||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||April In Paris||First Lady of Song (Box Set)||4:43||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||One O'Clock Jump (1937 Version)||Count Basie's Finest Hour||3:03||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Blue Skies||Count Basie and His Great Vocalists||2:50||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||One O'Clock Jump (1937 Version)||The Best of Early Basie||3:04||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||More (Theme from "Mondo Cane")||It Might As Well Be Swing||3:03||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Send In the Clowns||Send In the Clowns||6:20||$0.69||View in iTunes|
||Li'l Darlin'||Count Basie's Finest Hour||4:55||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||I Got Rhythm||At Long Last||4:09||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||I Wish You Love||Sinatra-Basie: The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings||2:52||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||One O'Clock Jump (1937 Version)||Ken Burns Jazz: Count Basie||3:01||$0.99||View in iTunes|