A fine stride pianist in the tradition of the great Fats Waller, William "Count" Basie also led two of the greatest jazz orchestras of all time. The two albums collected here come from the vaults of Columbia Records and feature some of the jazz world's finest musicians, including Jimmy Rushing, Harry Edison, Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco and Buddy Rich.
2 LPs on 1 CD: BLUES BY BASIE (1956)/ONE O'CLOCK JUMP (1957).
Personnel includes: Count Basie (piano, organ); Jimmy Rushing (vocals); Jack Washington (alto & baritone saxophones); Earl Warren (alto saxophone); Lester Young, Buddy Tate (tenor saxophone); Ed Lewis, Buck Clayton, Harry Edison, Shad Collins (trumpet); Dan Minor, Benny Morton, Dicky Wells (trombone);
Freddie Green (guitar); Walter Page (bass); Jo Jones (drums).
Recorded between 1939 & 1950. Originally released on Columbia (901) & Columbia (997).
Personnel: Count Basie (piano, organ); Jimmy Rushing (vocals); Freddie Green (guitar); Buddy DeFranco (clarinet); Preston Love, Caughey Roberts, Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Powell , Lucky Thompson, Marshall Royal, Wardell Gray (saxophone); Jack Washington (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Earle Warren, Tab Smith (alto saxophone); Don Byas, Lester Young , Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Serge Chaloff (baritone saxophone); Clark Terry, Ed Lewis, Emmett Berry, Harry "Sweets" Edison , Al Killian, Shad Collins, Buck Clayton (trumpet); Dicky Wells, Robert Scott , Eli Robinson, Ted Donnelly, Michael Woods, Benny Morton, George Matthews , Dan Minor (trombone); Gus Johnson , Jo Jones , Shadow Wilson, Buddy Rich (drums).
This 24-track CD, comprised of the contents of two Basie compilation LPs from 1956 and 1957, is a real treat for the bandleader's fans and for big-band swing enthusiasts in general. Basie's work is represented in two distinct periods at OKeh and Columbia Records, from 1939-1946, and 1950-1951. The first was the prime of the classic big-band era, when Basie was at the top of the musical world, striding easily between jazz and popular audiences -- and the cuts from 1939-1946 are represented here in far better sound quality than on any of Columbia's own Basie reissues to date; on that basis alone, this CD is a must-own title. But the 1950-1951 cuts, featuring Basie leading a much smaller group, are also worthwhile musically, and far less familiar to most listeners -- he could still swing, and the playing was still hot, even if relatively few people were buying the records. Up until this release, his early-'50s material was never represented on CD, just as this entire period in Basie's career is almost never written about, skipped over in favor of his reformed "new testament" band. The insert reproduces the original notes for both albums, which were surprisingly extensive for the era, and there is very full session and personnel information on every song. ~ Bruce Eder