Personnel includes: Count Basie (leader, piano); Jimmy Rushing, Thelma Carpenter (vocals); Earle Warren, James Powell, Rudy Rutherford, Eli Thompson (reeds); Ed Lewis, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Al Killian, Joe Newman (trumpet); Eli Robinson, Ted Donnelly, Lou Taylor, Dicky Wells (trombone); Artie Shaw (clarinet); Freddie Green (guitar); Rodney Richardson (bass); Shad Wilson (drums).
Includes liner notes by Dave Dexter, Jr.
Digitally remastered by John Jungklaus.
Recorded live at The Hotel Lincoln, New York, New York.
With the advent of World War II musicians sporadically joined and left the Count Basie Orchestra depending on Uncle Sam's activities in Europe and the South Pacific. Despite the constant personnel shift, Basie's band swings with authority here; there's a lot of musical variety in this collection, too.
Jimmy Rushing and Thelma Carpenter each pace the set with two endearing vocal performances. Carpenter's silken alto voice is particularly moving on "Do Nothin' till You Hear From Me." Other selections, such as "Lady Be Good," feature Artie Shaw, a legend in his own right, on clarinet. A classic swing recording, 1944 is a jazz masterpiece as well as a historic keepsake.