- Released: June 22, 1999
- Label: Vanguard Records
- 1.Close Quarters
- 2.Blues Blas‚
- 3.Embraceable You
- 4.Ballin' the Jack
- 5.The Sleeper
- 6.More Than One for My Baby
- 7.Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
- 8.I Want a Little Girl
- 9.Lincoln Heights
- 10.Good Morning Blues
- 11.Cubano Chant
- 12.Cool Too
Performers include: Vic Dickenson, Lucky Thompson, Walter Page, Buck Clayton, Joe Newman, Emmett Berry.
This is part of Vanguard's John Hammond Vanguard Jazz Showcase series.
Personnel: Count Basie (piano); Joe Williams (vocals); Freddie Green, Kenny Burrell (guitar); Frank Wess (flute, tenor saxophone); Earle Warren (alto saxophone); Frank Foster, Lucky Thompson (tenor saxophone); Emmett Berry, Joe Newman (trumpet); Matthew Gee, Bennie Green (trombone); John "Johnny" Adriano Acea, Hank Jones , Nat Pierce, Ray Bryant (piano); Jo Jones , Osie Johnson (drums).
Liner Note Author: Samuel Charters.
Photographers: Herb Snitzer; Popsy Randolph; Lee Tanner.
Although this reissue was released under the name the Count Basie Bunch, only a few of the selections actually employ Count Basie. Rather, Cool Too is a collection of excellent 1954-58 small-group recordings that are led by such Basie sidemen as trumpeters Buck Clayton & Joe Newman and drummer Jo Jones (not to be confused with Philly Joe Jones, another famous jazz drummer). John Hammond, who produced the recordings for Vanguard, had a strong passion for Basie-type swing -- so it isn't surprising that he successfully brought together so many Basie associates in the 1950s. Some of the high points of this CD range from Frank Wess' soulful tenor sax on "The Sleeper" and Vic Dickenson's expressive trombone on "Good Morning Blues" to Clayton's robust trumpet on "Blues Blas‚" and "Ballin' the Jack." Vocalist Joe Williams, who was Jimmy Rushing's most important successor in the Basie band, is in fine form on live performances of "More than One for My Baby" and "I Want a Little Girl," both of which were recorded live in New York in 1956 and come from the album A Night at Count Basie's. For swing fans, Cool Too is highly recommended. ~ Alex Henderson