Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

158

Count Basie Orchestra: Live at the Sands

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
During a career that spanned more than sixty years, Frank Sinatra performed many times at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. When Ol’ Blue Eyes appeared there in February–March 1966, the occasion was especially memorable, as his “warm–up act” (and accompanist) was no less than the celebrated Count Basie Orchestra, a pairing that led to two marvelous albums, “Sinatra Live at the Sands,” and this one, which features the Basie ensemble onstage “before Frank,” playing the music that coaxed Sinatra’s audience into the proper frame of mind and held it there until he appeared. A rather easy assignment for the Count’s enterprising forces, who simply couldn’t help swinging, even on slower numbers such as Ellington’s “Satin Doll,” the standard “Makin’ Whoopee” (a showcase for Al Grey’s muted trombone) or Eric Dixon’s “Blues for Ilene.” The orchestra also brings out the best on Don Gibson’s schmaltzy “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and Steve Allen’s “This Could Be the Start of Something.” The other numbers, most taken from the “Count Basie Songbook,” include luminous charts by Neal Hefti (“Splanky,” “Foo Birds,” “Whirly Bird”), Quincy Jones (“I Needs to be Bee’d With”), Freddie Green (“Corner Pocket”), Andrew York (“Jumpin’ at the Woodside”) and the Count himself (“One O’Clock Jump”). The band is shepherded smartly along by its high–powered drummer, Sonny Payne, and flaming lead trumpeter, Al Aarons, while the roster of impressive soloists includes Grey, Dixon, Sonny Cohn, Grover Mitchell (the orchestra’s present leader) and Lockjaw Davis. Sound quality, while hardly as immaculate and well–balanced as proclaimed in the sleevenotes, is more than adequate, perhaps even exceptional for its time. This was by any measure one of Basie’s most formidable ensembles. If you plan to spend almost an hour with a big band, you could choose a lot worse than this one.

Track listing: Introduction; Splanky; I Can’t Stop Loving You; I Needs to be Bee’d With; Flight of the Foo Birds; Satin Doll; Makin’ Whoopee!; Corner Pocket; One O’Clock Jump; Hello Little Girl; Whirly Bird; Blues for Ilene; This Could Be the Start of Something Big; Jumpin’ at the Woodside (52:53).

Personnel:

William

Title: Live at the Sands | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Reprise

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019