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- Released: March 19, 1996
- Label: OJC
- 1.Jive At Five
- 2.One O'Clock Jump
- 3.No Special Thing, (We Ain't Got)
- 4.Memories Of You
- 5.Frog's Blues
- 9.Mean To Me
- 10.Blues For Joe Turner
Personnel: Count Basie (piano); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Joe Pass (guitar); John Heard (bass); Louis Bellson (drums).
Recorded on January 26, 1977.
Personnel: Count Basie (piano); Joe Pass (guitar); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Louie Bellson (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Phil DeLancie.
Liner Note Author: Norman Granz.
Recording information: Kendun Recorders, Burbank, CA (01/26/1977).
Photographer: Phil Stern.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Count Basie; Joe Pass; Milt Jackson.
Late in his career, Basie began casually putting together small groups for the Pablo Records label, naming them in accordance with the number of participating musicians. KANSAS CITY 5 represents the first of these groups and most notably features vibraphonist Milt Jackson. From beginning to end, Jackson adds excitement and energy to the music. His fluid, expressive lines seem to float garrulously atop Basie's spare accompaniment. This is most evident on the wistful ballad "Memories of You."
Very few jazz musicians create the light and buoyant swing that Basie does. His understated pianistic style never trounces over soloists but offers them the freedom to explore new soloing vistas This is most apparent on "Jive at Five" and the relaxed and delicate "Blues for Joe Turner." On the latter, guitarist Joe Pass (known for his bebop work with the Oscar Peterson trio) plays uncharacteristically bluesy lines. However, he does so with great confidence and poise, making this sullen blues truly come to life.