Personnel: Freddie Green (guitar); Frank Wess (flute, alto saxophone); Charlie Fowlkes (flute, baritone saxophone); Marshall Royal (alto saxophone); Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis , Frank Foster (tenor saxophone); Joe Newman , Snooky Young, Thad Jones (trumpet); Henry Coker, Benny Powell (trombone); Count Basie (piano); Sonny Payne (drums).
Liner Note Author: James Gavin.
Recording information: Capitol Studios, New York, NY (09/19/1957-09/25/1959); Universal Studios, Chicago, IL (09/19/1957-09/25/1959).
Arrangers: Ernie Wilkins; Frank Foster ; Thad Jones.
Joe Williams emerged as a jazz/blues singer of the first rank on the 1950 Verve album, COUNT BASIE PLAYS... JOE WILLIAMS SINGS, which, not coincidentally, established the newly refurbished Basie band--the so-called "New Testament" edition--as an up-to-date force to be reckoned with. On this well-produced Roulette title from 1959, Williams and the band reprise their former hit "Everyday I Have The Blues" as a swinging kick-off to an exuberant set of familiar blues and R&B standards. Williams's burnished, elastic voice is in peak form as he essays the '30s Basie classic "Good Morning' Blues" (a nod to the great Jimmy Rushing) as well as Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and "Cherry Red." The crisp arrangements by Frank Foster, Ernie Wilkins, and Thad Jones emphasize the bold interplay of brass and reeds, and the superior remaster captures this great band's colorful bite in all its glory.