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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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COUNT BASIE

Jazz Moods Hot

Columbia/Legacy 516420 2

 

 

 


  1. Tickle Yoe
  2. Oh, Lady Be Good
  3. Louisiana
  4. Shoe Shine Boy
  5. Broadway
  6. Lester Leaps In
  7. Swing, Brother, Swing
  8. Boogie Woogie Blues
  9. Swingin’ the Blues
  10. Roseland Shuffle
  11. Moten Swing
  12. Clap hands! Here Comes Charlie
  13. Jumpin’ at the Woodside
  14. I Got Rhythm

Unfortunately not all the personnel are named here, but there are some terrific solos from Dickie Wells on Trombone, Buck Clayton on Trumpet and the superb Lester Young on Tenor. Lester influenced a whole generation of tenor sax players and from my point of view, it’s a pity that he is not listened to more today by young players, instead of everyone sounding like a John Coltrane clone. The rhythm section had Freddie Green on Guitar and the amazing Jo Jones on drums, as well as the Count himself on piano.

For all Count Basie band fans and that includes myself, this is the band of the thirties and forties that set the standard for all future Count Basie bands. It contains some standards that stayed with the band throughout and also some specialist solos that are classics of the particular musician’s style. The first track is a case in point, Tickle Toe is a Lester Young composition and he produces several excellent choruses here. Buck Clayton was an excellent arranger as well as being a very highly rated trumpet player and he plays some excellent solos on many of the tracks. Dickie Wells who stayed with the band for many years is also a superb soloist. There are also some really good solo passages from other musicians who are not identified (more later).

On some tracks a smaller band is featured Shoe Shine Boy is an example of this Tenor, Trombone, Trumpet, Rhythm section line up.

Anyone not familiar with the Basie band of this period is recommended to the 1940 track Broadway. It is absolutely classic Basie, all the soloists are excellent, the band’s dynamics are spot on and the rhythm section drives along as only they can. Lester Leaps In, as you would expect, is another feature for Lester Young, on an ‘I Got Rhythm’ vehicle that has become a classic of the jazz world.

There is a vocal on Swing, Brother Swing that sounds to me like Billie Holiday, but perhaps some of our readers may know better! Unfortunately the sleeve doesn’t mention it. There is no doubt whatever about the second vocalist, Jimmy Rushing was just as much a part of this band as Joe Williams was to later versions.

Swingin’ the Blues is taken at a faster tempo than normal, this track is a live recording and these things sometimes happen! Lester Young plays one tenor solo and the other is either played by Coleman Hawkins or one of his many disciples. Track 13 has also got a little of ‘One O’Clock Jump’ on it, although it is not listed!

The 1930 version of I got Rhythm is a special version, what a pity that it fades out with Lester Young in mid flight, but I guess that even the 12" 78rpm record was finished on 5.07 which is the longest track.

This CD is a must for all Basie lovers, it is a pity about the lack of personnel information, but it gives the listener a chance to organise his own "Blindfold Test".
I heartily recommend it!

Don Mather



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