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Count Basie


Bill Basie studied music with his mother as a child and played piano in early childhood. He picked up the basics of early ragtime from some of the great Harlem pianists and studied organ informally with Fats Waller. He made his professional debut as an accompanist for vaudeville acts and replaced Waller in an act called Katie Crippen and her Kids. He also worked with June Clark and Sonny Greer who was later to become Duke Ellington’s drummer. It was while traveling with the Gonzel White vaudeville show that Basie became stranded in Kansas City when the outfit suddenly broke up. He played at a silent movie house for a while and then became a member of the Walter Page Blue Devils in 1928 and ’29


Article: Drum Addiction

Mere Noisemakers

Read "Mere Noisemakers" reviewed by Troy Hoffman

Drummers used to be predominantly known as mere noisemakers (not musicians) coming out of the Vaudeville-era, where percussionists were seen as background tools. They often carried out sound effect cues, sent from studios to theaters, for silent films. This left drummers with the responsible task of mimicking the sounds of hurricanes, car crashes and thunderstorms from ...


Article: Live Review

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2024

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2024" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Various Venues Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Montréal, Canada June 30 to July 4, 2024 This year's official announcement of the headliners of the 44th edition of the festival included André 3000, Norah Jones, Hiatus Kaiyote, Laufey, Robert Glasper, and Orville Peck. This diverse group is notable for departing from ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Cubana Be, Cubana Bop - Play Misty for Me

Read "Cubana Be, Cubana Bop - Play Misty for Me" reviewed by David Brown

This week, we start things off with some Afro-Cuban sounds from Bud Powell, Zaccai Curtis and Dizzy Gillespie. Next, a celebration of the birth of pianist Erroll Garner who would have been 103 today. Large band orchestral works from Toshiko Akiyoshi, Jihye Lee and Count Basie will follow before we check out some African sounds from ...


Article: Jazz in Long Form

Jazz Fest Deemed A Success (Three Years In A Row): A Look Back At The Virginia Beach Jazz Festival 1959-1961

Read "Jazz Fest Deemed A Success (Three Years In A Row): A Look Back At The Virginia Beach Jazz Festival 1959-1961" reviewed by Troy Hoffman

They say that music is the “great communicator," and if so then jazz is the most fluent. Just a few miles away from the famous jazz club, The Jolly Roger, in Virginia Beach, the Robert E. Lee Amphitheater was newly built to seat 2,000 and was the location of the area's first Virginia Beach Jazz Festival ...


Article: Interview

McCoy Mrubata: The Doyen of South African Jazz

Read "McCoy Mrubata: The Doyen of South African Jazz" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

At 64, McCoy Mrubata is a commanding presence on the South African jazz scene. A Cape Town native who now resides in Johannesburg along with his wife and four children, Mrubata has won many awards and accolades in his native country, including a lifetime achievement award. Yet, Mrubata remains a lesser known figure in the US. ...


Article: Play This!

Nicola Caminiti: Adam Arturo

Read "Nicola Caminiti: Adam Arturo" reviewed by John Chacona

Every generation or so, a rhythm section comes along and changes the game. Think of Count Basie's “All-American Rhythm Section" with Freddie Green, Walter Page and Jo Jones, or Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams from Miles Davis' second great quintet. It's up to history to render the verdict about pianist Lex Korten, bassist Ben ...

News: Video / DVD

Count Basie: New YouTube Videos

Count Basie: New YouTube Videos

Wednesday is especially good for a message from Count Basie. The Count's swing should get you over the midweek blues. Here are seven recently uploaded videos of the band and other groups playing Basie's music: Here's the band in 1980 with Duffy Jackson on drums... Here's the band in London playing Blues for Eileen... Here's Lambert, ...

Article: Album Review

Mike McGinnis + 9: Outing

Read "Outing" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Il nuovo album di Mike McGinnis si riallaccia a un'incisione del 2013 (Roadtrip, RKM) realizzata con un tentet d'identica strumentazione e un solo mutamento d'organico: Caroline Davis al sax contralto prende il posto di Matt Blostein. Dopo il successo del suo trio del 2017/18 con Steve Swallow e Paul Bley (ricordiamo i due ...


Article: Album Review

Chet Baker & Jack Sheldon: In Perfect Harmony: The Lost Album

Read "In Perfect Harmony: The Lost Album" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

In Perfect Harmony: The Lost Album presents an intriguing collaboration between trumpeters Chet Baker and Jack Sheldon. Derived from a newly unearthed studio session from 1972 and released on the Jazz Detective label, it was co-produced by Zev Feldman and film producer Frank Marshall. Backed by a stellar ensemble featuring Jack Marshall (guitar), Dave Frishberg (piano), ...


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