Personnel: Count Basie (piano); Joe Williams, Jimmy Rushing (vocals); Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet (tenor saxophone); Marshall Royal, Bill Graham, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Charlie Fowlkes (saxophone); Roy Eldridge, Wendall Culley, Joe Newman, Reunald Jones, Thad Jones (trumpet); Henry Coker, Benny Powell, Bill Hughes (trombones); Freddie Green (guitar); Ed Jones (bass); Sonny Payne, Jo Jones (drums).
Recorded at Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island on July 7, 1957.
Originally released on Verve (6024). Includes liner notes by Richard Sudhalter.
By the time of this 1957 recording, the Basie band was enjoying something of a renaissance, and the appreciation of the audience for this legendary musician helps make this live recording all the warmer. This was a special night for the band, as it represented a coming together of the contemporary Basie assemblage with some of the original Kansas City veterans. Entrepeneur John Hammond, who helped bring Basie to national attention in the '30s, warmly introduces the band one by one, stressing the importance of each member.
Thad Jones, Frank Foster and company lay down a solid version of "Swingin' At Newport," after which they are joined by one after another of Basie's old Kansas City cohorts. From Lester Young to Jimmy Rushing, the stage soon becomes flooded with KC royalty, as old meets new with glorious results. Clearly, this evening at Newport was a night to remember, and we're fortunate it was captured for posterity.