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 The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Earprint" CD/LP/Track Review Earprint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Sleight Of Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Sleight Of Hand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Landing" CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Checking Out" CD/LP/Track Review Checking Out
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Obnoxius" CD/LP/Track Review Obnoxius
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 20, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!