Personnel: Count Basie (piano); Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet); Ray Brown (bass); Mickey Roker (drums).
Recorded at Las Vegas Recording Studio, Las Vegas, Nevada on February 3, 1977.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1996, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Count Basie (piano); Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet); Mickey Roker (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Phil DeLancie.
Liner Note Authors: Joe Pass; Norman Granz.
Recording information: Las Vegas Recording Studio, Las Vegas, NV (02/03/1977).
Photographer: Phil Stern.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Count Basie; Dizzy Gillespie; Mickey Roker; Ray Brown .
On the face of it, THE GIFTED ONES is an unlikely pairing of musicians. Though it's a collaboration between Count Basie, one of the icons of swing, and Dizzy Gillespie, one of the pioneers of bebop, their musical styles are more congruent than one might think.
Both musicians are firmly rooted in the blues, as we see most poignantly on "Back to the Land," a composition they wrote together. Here, the band plays a slow 12/8 groove, while Gillespie soliloquizes over the top with stark yet pointed melodic jabs. Basie solos in his trademark minimalistic, "swing low" fashion, while bassist Ray Brown and drummer Mickey Roker keep the tempo rock steady. On the traditional tune, "Saint James Infirmary," the quartet harks back to a kind of New Orleans funeral march. As with "Back to the Land," the song gradually changes into a 12/8 feel, but here Basie's playing retains much of the atmosphere of trad jazz; his dark, almost ominous, chord clusters conjure images of a mournful procession on a rainy day.