Down Beat - 9/93, p.444.5 Stars
- Very Good Plus - "...Bluesy, laid-back seemingly spontaneous consistency...Bags floats over and through well- turned ensembles, Basie flicks at the keys: the heat increases from a simmer to a boil..."
/Count Basie & The Big Band.
Personnel: Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Count Basie (piano); Danny Turner, Bobby Plater, Eric Dixon, Charlie Fowlkes, Kenny Hing (saxophone); Waymon Reed, Lyn Biviano, Sonny Cohn, Pete Minger (trumpet); Bill Hughes, Mel Wanzo, Fred Wesley, Dennis Wilson (trombone); Freddie Green (guitar); John Clayton (bass); Butch Miles (drums).
Recorded at Group IV Recording, Hollywood, California on January 18, 1978. Originally released on Pablo (2310 822). Includes liner notes by Norman Granz.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1992, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Count Basie (piano); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Freddie Green (guitar); Kenny Hing, Danny Turner , Eric Dixon , Bobby Plater, Charlie Fowlkes (saxophone); Lin Biviano, Waymon Reed, Pete Minger, Sonny Cohn (trumpet); Mel Wanzo, Fred Wesley, Dennis Wilson , Bill Hughes (trombone); Butch Miles (drums).
Recording information: Group IV Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (01/18/1978).
Photographer: Phil Stern.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Kenny Hing; Lin Biviano; Waymon Reed; Mel Wanzo; Danny Turner ; Fred Wesley; Eric Dixon ; Dennis Wilson ; John Clayton; Milt Jackson; Pete Minger; Butch Miles; Bill Hughes ; Sonny Cohn; Bobby Plater; Charlie Fowlkes.
Producer Norman Granz conceived the pairing of Milt Jackson with Count Basie, first on stage at Montreux in a small group, then in the studio with the pianist's full band for this 1978 session, which produced two albums' worth of music. Although Basie had never before used a vibraphonist with his band, Jackson proves to be an excellent fit. In fact, the two men are the only soloists on this release, aside from tenor saxophonist Eric Dixon's contribution to "The Comeback." Except for the jointly composed "Blues for Joe Turner," all of the music comes from the Basie bandbook. Jackson romps through Ernie Wilkins' "Basie," yet manages to restrain himself from too many rapid runs in Neal Hefti's signature tune "Li'l' Darlin'." The only oddity about this remarkable CD, which adds an alternate take of "Corner Pocket" left off of the LP, is the choice of cover photo, featuring a blurry Basie and Jackson, the latter with a somewhat bemused expression. ~ Ken Dryden