Count Basie: Swingsation (1999)
Known for his wide and wild orchestral arrangements, William "Count" Basie also demonstrates a calmer, more concentrated attitude on this first volume of GRP’s new "Swingsation" series (which also features classic collections of Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmie Lunceford and Lionel Hampton, among others). From a liliting take on Fats Waller’s "Honeysuckle Rose" (featuring sax man Lester Young, trumpeter Buck Clayton and a taste of "Tea For Two") and a restrained romp through Basie’s own "One O’Clock Jump," to an appropriately-titled "Blue and Sentimental," this collection of Basie’s early Decca sides shows a number of facets of this multi-talnted composer/arranger/bandleader/performer.
In addition to his own numbers, The Count counts on the likes of George and Ira Gershwin and vocalist/orchestral "point man" Jimmy Rushing for inspiration and material. The Gershwins’ "Oh, Lady Be Good" allows Basie to tickle his trickly keys out front, while "Sent For You Yesterday" backs Rushing’s antically broad-mouthed vocals with a firm four-beat topped by Harry "Sweets" Edison on trumpet and Benny Morton on trombone. Despite digital remastering, Basie’s masterpieces are a bit further restrained by the limits of mono sound. Even so, Basie’s torrential trademarks are readily apparent and, though always poised, Basie’s energy and talent are not made to hide under a tree when the storm comes. Though it may be a bit deeper than a typical "Greatest Hits" collection, Swingsation depicts the man behind the original Swing era hits and, in so doing, gives a broader and more comprehensive perspective on the man and his music.
Track Listing: 1. Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf/Waller) - 2:58 2. Swinging at the Daisy Chain (Basie) - 2:48 3. Roseland Shuffle (Basie) - 2:32 4. Boogie Woogie (Basie/Rushing) - 2:48 5. One O'Clock Jump (Basie) - 3:00 6. John's Idea (Basie) - 2:53 7. Time Out (Durham) - 3:01 8. Topsy (Durham) - 3:12 9. Sent for You Yesterday (And Here You Come... (Durham/Rushing) - 2:56 10. Every Tub (Basie/Durham) - 3:13 11. Swingin' the Blues (Basie/Durham) - 2:45 12. Blue and Sentimental (Basie/David/Livingston) - 3:10 13. Doggin' Around (Battle/Evans) - 3:02 14. Texas Shuffle (Evans) - 3:07 15. Jumpin' at the Woodside (Basie) - 3:08 16. Shorty George (Basie) - 2:44 17. Jive at Five (Edison) - 2:49 18. Oh Lady Be Good (Gershwin/Gershwin) - 3:10
Personnel: Count Basie - Piano Chu Berry - Sax (Tenor) Buck Clayton - Trumpet Harry "Sweets" Edison - Trumpet, Arranger Freddie Green - Guitar Jo Jones - Drums Jimmy Rushing - Vocals Lester Young - Clarinet, Sax (Tenor) Andy Gibson - Arranger Benny Morton - Trombone Buster Smith - Arranger Walter Page - Bass Shad Collins - Trumpet Eddie Durham - Guitar, Trombone, Arranger Herschel Evans - Clarinet, Arranger, Sax (Tenor) Fletcher Henderson - Arranger George Hunt - Trombone Joe Keyes - Trumpet Steve Lasker - Digital Transfers Dan Minor - Trombone Caughey Roberts - Sax (Alto) Earle Warren - Sax (Alto) Jack Washington - Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone) Dicky Wells - Trombone Claude "Fiddler" Williams - Guitar Ed Lewis - Trumpet Bob Moore - Trumpet