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Count Basie Orchestra at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Read "Count Basie Orchestra at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts" reviewed by Patricia Myers

Count Basie Orchestra Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Scottsdale, Arizona December 19, 2015 The Count Basie Orchestra solidified its 80-year reputation for strong swingability, inventive solo segments and supreme section cohesion during two back-to-back concerts on a tour in support of the band's first-ever Christmas-theme album. But those seasonal charts didn't dominate the program, instead were scattered like raisins in a melodic holiday pudding. Several soloists cleverly injected Christmas-song snippets into the band's expected ...


Count Basie Orchestra: America's #1 Band: The Columbia Years

Read "America's #1 Band: The Columbia Years" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra – the Count Basie Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra – which one is superior? A more contemporary example would be the fractious communities who favor the Beatles as opposed to the Rolling Stones. Personally, I have always favored the organic feel of the Stones. I give the edge to Basie for the same reason. Ellington's music was that of a composer, one carefully thought out and executed. Basie's music was from the ...


Count Basie Orchestra: Atomic Swing

Read "Atomic Swing" reviewed by Mike Neely

Count Basie usually brings to mind a legendary rhythm section, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, and such singers as Jimmy Rushing and Billie Holiday. But after World War II, long after his most famous orchestra dissolved, Basie put together another that is among the finest big bands in the history of jazz. Count Basie: Atomic Swing provides all the evidence the most doubtful listener could demand. This is classic jazz.

Capitol Records and Roulette Jazz provide an excellent selection of Basie ...


Count Basie Orchestra: Paris Jazz Concert, April 1972

Read "Paris Jazz Concert, April 1972" reviewed by Jack Bowers

There are at least two things one must keep in mind when considering live or studio recordings made some years ago by well-- known Jazz artists or groups and released on compact disc by not--so--well--known labels. One is playing time; the other is over--all sound quality. The Count Basie Orchestra's Paris Jazz Concert, which took place twenty--seven years ago and was repackaged this year by Malaco Classics, passes the first test with flying colors, clocking in at a generous 72:35, ...


Count Basie Orchestra: Live at the Sands

Read "Live at the Sands" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...


Count Basie Orchestra: Count Plays Duke

Read "Count Plays Duke" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Count Basie Orchestra's debut for MAMA Records embraces the best of two worlds - the Count's hard-swinging brass, reeds and rhythm and the graceful and enduring melodies of Duke Ellington (and Billy Strayhorn). It doesn't get much more inviting than that. If the Basie organization has lost any appreciable ground under the Count's successors - first Frank Foster, now Grover Mitchell - it isn't readily apparent. Everyone seems in topnotch form on these seamless interpretations of a baker's dozen ...