count basie


  • Later that year, Basie appeared on a television special with Fred Astaire, featuring a dance solo to “Sweet Georgia Brown”, followed in January 1961 by Basie performing at
    one of the five John F. Kennedy Inaugural Balls.

  • [28] John Hammond and first recordings[edit] Basie and band, with vocalist Ethel Waters, from the film Stage Door Canteen (1943) At the end of 1936, Basie and his band, now
    billed as Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm, moved from Kansas City to Chicago, where they honed their repertoire at a long engagement at the Grand Terrace Ballroom.

  • [22] Their “Moten Swing”, which Basie claimed credit for,[23] was an invaluable contribution to the development of swing music, and at one performance at the Pearl Theatre
    in Philadelphia in December 1932, the theatre opened its door to allow anybody in who wanted to hear the band perform.

  • In 1935, he formed the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording.

  • [56] Los Angeles and the Cavalcade of Jazz concerts[edit] Count Basie was the featured artist at the first Cavalcade of Jazz concert held at Wrigley Field on September 23,
    1945, which was produced by Leon Hefflin Sr.[57] Al Jarvis was the Emcee and other artists to appear on stage were Joe Liggins and his Honeydrippers, The Peters Sisters, Slim and Bam, Valaida Snow, and Big Joe Turner.

  • Frank Sinatra recorded for the first time with Basie on 1962’s Sinatra-Basie and for a second studio album on 1964’s It Might as Well Be Swing, which was arranged by Quincy

  • She even toured with the Basie Orchestra in the mid-1970s, and Fitzgerald and Basie also met on the 1979 albums A Classy Pair, Digital III at Montreux, and A Perfect Match,
    the last two also recorded live at Montreux.

  • Joe Williams toured with the band and was featured on the 1957 album One O’Clock Jump, and 1956’s Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings, with “Every Day (I Have the Blues)”
    becoming a huge hit.

  • [11] Soon, Basie met many of the Harlem musicians who were “making the scene,” including Willie “the Lion” Smith and James P. Johnson.

  • [19] Kansas City years[edit] The following year, in 1929, Basie became the pianist with the Bennie Moten band based in Kansas City, inspired by Moten’s ambition to raise his
    band to match the level of those led by Duke Ellington or Fletcher Henderson.

  • [42] The band’s first appearance at the Apollo Theater followed, with the vocalists Holiday and Jimmy Rushing getting the most attention.

  • [15] Back in Harlem in 1925, Basie gained his first steady job at Leroy’s, a place known for its piano players and its “cutting contests”.

  • Basie is a part of the Big Band Leaders issue, which, is in turn, part of the Legends of American Music series.

  • [17] In 1928, Basie was in Tulsa and heard Walter Page and his Famous Blue Devils, one of the first big bands, which featured Jimmy Rushing on vocals.

  • [30] In that city in October 1936, the band had a recording session which the producer John Hammond later described as “the only perfect, completely perfect recording session
    I’ve ever had anything to do with”.

  • [1] Singers Basie hitched his star to some of the most famous vocalists of the 1950s and 1960s, which helped keep the Big Band sound alive and added greatly to his recording

  • Basie’s 14-man band began playing at the Famous Door, a mid-town nightspot with a CBS network feed and air conditioning, which Hammond was said to have bought the club in
    return for their booking Basie steadily throughout the summer of 1938.

  • Basie’s new band was more of an ensemble group, with fewer solo turns, and relying less on “head” and more on written arrangements.

  • • “Blues in Hoss’ Flat,” composed by Basie band member Frank Foster, was used by the radio DJ Al “Jazzbeaux” Collins as his theme song in San Francisco and New York.

  • [1] As he did with Duke Ellington, Willie “the Lion” Smith helped Basie out during the lean times by arranging gigs at “house-rent parties”, introducing him to other leading
    musicians, and teaching him some piano technique.

  • Discouraged by the obvious talents of Sonny Greer, who also lived in Red Bank and became Duke Ellington’s drummer in 1919, Basie switched to piano exclusively at age 15.

  • Hits of the 50’s And 60’s; 1960: Best Performance by a Band For Dancing, Dance With Basie; 1958: Best Performance by a Dance Band, Basie (The Atomic Mr. Basie); 1958: Best
    Jazz Performance, Group, Basie (The Atomic Mr. Basie) Grammy Hall of Fame[edit] By 2011, four recordings of Count Basie had been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are
    at least 25 years old, and that have “qualitative or historical significance.”

  • It was at this time that he began to be known as “Count” Basie (see Jazz royalty).

  • One of Basie’s biggest regrets was never recording with Louis Armstrong, though they shared the same bill several times.

  • [77][78] Legacy and honors Count Basie introduced several generations of listeners to the Big Band sound and left an influential catalog.

  • Basie recalled a review, which said something like, “We caught the great Count Basie band which is supposed to be so hot he was going to come in here and set the Roseland
    on fire.

  • [36] Basie favored blues, and he would showcase some of the most notable blues singers of the era after he went to New York: Billie Holiday, Jimmy Rushing, Big Joe Turner,
    Helen Humes, and Joe Williams.

  • [31] Hammond first heard Basie’s band on the radio and went to Kansas City to check them out.

  • [85] 1984 : Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band , 88 Basie Street; 1982: Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band, Warm Breeze; 1980: Best Jazz Instrumental Performance,
    Big Band, On The Road; 1977: Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band, Prime Time; 1976: Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist (Instrumental), Basie And Zoot; 1963: Best Performance by an Orchestra – For Dancing, This Time By Basie!

  • Another Basie innovation was the use of two tenor saxophone players; at the time, most bands had just one.

  • Basie’s new band played at the Reno Club and sometimes were broadcast on local radio.

  • Basie credited Billy Eckstine, a top male vocalist of the time, for prompting his return to Big Band.

  • [59] Post-war and later years[edit] Basie in Rhythm and Blues Revue (1955) The big band era appeared to have ended after the war, and Basie disbanded the group.

  • [49] Adding to their play book, Basie received arrangements from Jimmy Mundy (who had also worked with Benny Goodman and Earl Hines), particularly for “Cherokee”, “Easy Does
    It”, and “Super Chief”.

  • Late one night with time to fill, the band started improvising.

  • [69] That summer, Basie and Duke Ellington combined forces for the recording First Time!

  • “April in Paris” (arrangement by Wild Bill Davis) was a best-selling instrumental and the title song for the hit album.

  • By the mid-1950s, Basie’s band had become one of the preeminent backing big bands for some of the most prominent jazz vocalists of the time.

  • [29] Right from the start, Basie’s band was known for its rhythm section.

  • [39] The producer John Hammond continued to advise and encourage the band, and they soon came up with some adjustments, including softer playing, more solos, and more standards.

  • New York City and the swing years[edit] When Basie took his orchestra to New York in 1937, they made the Woodside Hotel in Harlem their base (they often rehearsed in its basement).

  • Soon after, Benny Goodman recorded their signature “One O’Clock Jump” with his band.

  • [67] The Basie band made two tours in the British Isles and on the second, they put on a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II, along with Judy Garland, Vera Lynn, and
    Mario Lanza.

  • With the New Testament Basie band in full swing, and arrangements written by a youthful Quincy Jones, this album proved a swinging respite from her Songbook recordings and
    constant touring she did during this period.

  • [18] A few months later, he was invited to join the band, which played mostly in Texas and Oklahoma.

  • [50] In 1939, Basie and his band made a major cross-country tour, including their first West Coast dates.

  • Their albums together included In Person and Strike Up the Band.

  • • Drummer Neil Peart of the Canadian rock band Rush recorded a version of “One O’Clock Jump” with the Buddy Rich Big Band, and has used it at the end of his drum solos on
    the 2002 Vapor Trails Tour and Rush’s 30th Anniversary Tour.

  • [63] DownBeat magazine reported: “(Basie) has managed to assemble an ensemble that can thrill both the listener who remembers 1938 and the youngster who has never before heard
    a big band like this.

  • From 1929 to 1932, Basie was part of Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra: • Count Basie in Kansas City: Bennie Moten’s Great Band of 1930-1932 (RCA Victor, 1965) • Basie
    Beginnings: Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra (1929–1932) (Bluebird/RCA, 1989) • The Swinging Count!, (Clef, 1952) • Count Basie Presents Eddie Davis Trio + Joe Newman (Roulette, 1958) • The Atomic Mr. Basie (Roulette, 1958) • Memories
    Ad-Lib with Joe Williams (Roulette, 1958) • Basie/Eckstine Incorporated with Billy Eckstine ( Roulette 1959) • String Along with Basie (Roulette, 1960) • Count Basie and the Kansas City 7 (Impulse!, 1962) • Basie Swingin’ Voices Singin’ with
    the Alan Copeland Singers (ABC-Paramount, 1966) • Basie Meets Bond (United Artists, 1966) • Basie’s Beatle Bag (Verve, 1966) • Basie on the Beatles (Verve, 1969) • Loose Walk with Roy Eldridge (Pablo, 1972) • Basie Jam (Pablo, 1973) • The
    Bosses with Big Joe Turner (1973) • For the First Time (Pablo, 1974) • Satch and Josh with Oscar Peterson (Pablo, 1974) • Basie & Zoot with Zoot Sims (Pablo, 1975) • Count Basie Jam Session at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1975 (Pablo, 1975)
    • For the Second Time (Pablo, 1975) • Basie Jam 2 (Pablo, 1976) • Basie Jam 3 (Pablo, 1976) • Kansas City 5 (Pablo, 1977) • The Gifted Ones with Dizzy Gillespie (Pablo, 1977) • Montreux ’77 (Pablo, 1977) • Basie Jam: Montreux ’77 (Pablo, 1977)
    • Satch and Josh…Again with Oscar Peterson (Pablo, 1977) • Night Rider with Oscar Peterson (Pablo, 1978) • Count Basie Meets Oscar Peterson – The Timekeepers (Pablo, 1978) • Yessir, That’s My Baby with Oscar Peterson (Pablo, 1978) • Kansas
    City 8: Get Together (Pablo, 1979) • Kansas City 7 (Pablo, 1980) • On the Road (Pablo, 1980) • Kansas City 6 (Pablo, 1981) • Mostly Blues…and Some Others (Pablo, 1983) • 88 Basie Street (Pablo, 1983) As sideman[edit] With Eddie Lockjaw Davis
    • Count Basie Presents Eddie Davis Trio + Joe Newman (Roulette, 1957) With Harry Edison • Edison’s Lights (Pablo, 1976) With Benny Goodman • The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert (Columbia, 1939) • Solo Flight: The Genius of Charlie Christian
    (Columbia, 1939) With Jo Jones • Jo Jones Special (Vanguard, 1955) With Joe Newman • Joe Newman and the Boys in the Band (Storyville, 1954) With Paul Quinichette • The Vice Pres (Verve, 1952) With Lester Young • The Complete Savoy Recordings
    (Savoy, 1944) Filmography • Hit Parade of 1943 (1943) – as himself • Top Man (1943) – as himself • Sugar Chile Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and His Sextet (1950) – as himself • Jamboree (1957) • Cinderfella (1960) – as himself • Sex
    and the Single Girl (1964) – as himself with his orchestra • Blazing Saddles (1974) – as himself with his orchestra • Last of the Blue Devils (1979) – interview and concert by the orchestra in documentary on Kansas City music Awards Grammy
    Awards[edit] In 1958, Basie became the first African-American to win a Grammy Award.

  • [70] Count Basie (left) in concert (Cologne 1975) During the balance of the 1960s, the band kept active with tours, recordings, television appearances, festivals, Las Vegas
    shows, and travel abroad, including cruises.

  • • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Brenda Fricker’s “Pigeon Lady” character claims to have heard Basie in Carnegie Hall.

  • [55] The war years caused a lot of members turn over, and the band worked many play dates with lower pay.

  • Throughout his tours, Basie met many jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong.

  • [47] A few months later, Holiday left for Artie Shaw’s band.

  • Count Basie and his Orchestra played at the tenth Cavalcade of Jazz concert also at Wrigley Field on June 20, 1954.

  • Basie then formed his own nine-piece band, Barons of Rhythm, with many former Moten members including Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums), Lester
    Young (tenor saxophone) and Jimmy Rushing (vocals).

  • When the band voted Moten out, Basie took over for several months, calling the group Count Basie and his Cherry Blossoms.

  • Basie made a few more movie appearances, such as in the Jerry Lewis film Cinderfella (1960) and the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles (1974), playing a revised arrangement
    of “April in Paris”.

  • However, throughout the 1940s, he maintained a big band that possessed an infectious rhythmic beat, an enthusiastic team spirit, and a long list of inspired and talented jazz

  • Those four sides were released on Vocalion Records under the band name of Jones-Smith Incorporated; the sides were “Shoe Shine Boy”, “Evening”, “Boogie Woogie”, and “Oh Lady
    Be Good”.

  • By then, Basie was playing with pick-up groups for dances, resorts, and amateur shows, including Harry Richardson’s “Kings of Syncopation”.

  • [60] The jukebox era had begun, and Basie shared the exposure along with early rock’n’roll and rhythm and blues artists.

  • We set the thing up front in D-flat, and then we just went on playing in F.” It became his signature tune.

  • Sinatra later said of this concert “I have a funny feeling that those two nights could have been my finest hour, really.

  • [38] Compared to the reigning band of Fletcher Henderson, Basie’s band lacked polish and presentation.

  • As Metronome magazine proclaimed, “Basie’s Brilliant Band Conquers Chick’s”; the article described the evening: Throughout the fight, which never let down in its intensity
    during the whole fray, Chick took the aggressive, with the Count playing along easily and, on the whole, more musically scientifically.

  • [75] Basie also recorded with Tony Bennett in the late 1950s.

  • The place catered to “uptown celebrities”, and typically the band winged every number without sheet music using “head arrangements”.

  • During a broadcast the announcer wanted to give Basie’s name some style, so he called him “Count”.


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