194

Count Basie & Friends: 100th Birthday Bash

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Count Basie & Friends: 100th Birthday Bash To honor the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the incomparable Count Basie (August 21, 1904), Roulette Records has gone to the vaults and unearthed recordings made by the Basie Orchestra and smaller groups spanning the years 1957-62 when the Count was working for Roulette. All of the material on the two-disc set was previously issued, either on albums or as singles, and there are guest artists on a number of tracks (hence the title Basie & Friends ).

Neal Hefti was Basie's right-hand man at the time, and he's well-represented with four of his classic tunes, "Whirly Bird," "Li'l Darlin'," "Cute" and "Splanky" (but not "The Kid from Red Bank"). The band's regular singer, Joe Williams, is heard from on half a dozen numbers (including one of his signatures, "Ev'ry Day I Have the Blues"), and there are other vocals by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross ("Jumpin'at the Woodside," with Williams on "Goin' to Chicago"), Nat King Cole ("I Want a Little Girl," "The Late Late Show"), Sarah Vaughan ("Until I Met You," dueting with Williams on "Teach Me Tonight" and "If I Were a Bell"), Billy Eckstine ("Lonesome Lover Blues," "Jelly Jelly"), Irene Reid ("Untouchable") and Tony Bennett ("I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," "Jeepers Creepers").

Trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison is the guest soloist on "One O'Clock Jump," while tenor saxophonists Ben Webster (Basie's "Blue and Sentimental"), Illinois Jacquet ("She's Funny That Way") and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis ("Farouk," "Save Your Love for Me") are heard in small-group settings. Quincy Jones wrote the seductive blues "For Lena and Lennie," among the highlights on disc one.

Breaking it down, there are fifteen vocal tracks, thirteen instrumental. That may not suit everyone, but at least the singers are first-rate. The overall sound is satisfactory too, although it does vary slightly from track to track, while the playing times (51:01, 47:26) are on the lee side of generous. A fairly adequate mélange for those who may have missed these episodes the first time around.


Track Listing: Disc One -- Whirly Bird; Goin' to Chicago; Cute; I Want a Little Girl; Teach Me Tonight; The Late Late Show; Lonesome Lover Blues; Blue and Sentimental; Trav'lin' Light; Farouk; For Lena and Lennie; Untouchable; Everyday (I Have the Blues); I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face (51:01). Disc Two -- Jumpin' at the Woodside; Li'l Darlin'; If I Were a Bell; Splanky; Ain't No Use; Until I Met You (Corner Pocket); She's Funny That Way; The Late Late Show; Jeepers Creepers; Jelly Jelly; Katy Do; Save Your Love for Me; April in Paris; One O'Clock Jump (47:26).

Personnel: Count Basie, piano, with seven orchestras, three smaller groups (complete personnel in booklet) and special guests Tony Bennett, Benny Carter, Nat "King" Cole, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, "Wild Bill" Davis, Billy Eckstine, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Neal Hefti, Illinois Jacquet, Quincy Jones, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Irene Reid, Sarah Vaughan, Ben Webster, Joe Williams.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Roulette Jazz | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Jazzin' Around Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Jazzin' Around Christmas
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Outside In" CD/LP/Track Review Outside In
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Burning Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Burning Ghosts
by Troy Collins
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Back Where I Belong" CD/LP/Track Review Back Where I Belong
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!