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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

Coming Out Party
Original recordings 1940/2
NAXOS JAZZ Legends 8.120819




  1. 9:20 Special
  2. Goin’ to Chicago Blues
  3. Fiesta blues
  4. King Joe, Parts 1 & 2
  5. Feather Merchant
  6. Harvard Blues
  7. Coming Out Party
  8. Basie Blues
  9. I’m Gonna move to the Outskirts of Town
  10. Royal garden Blues
  11. How Long Blues
  12. Bugle Blues
  13. Sugar Blues
  14. Farewell Blues
  15. Café Society Blues
  16. Way Back Blues
  17. St Louis Blues
  18. The world is Mad, Parts 1&2

Even at these early days of the Basie big band, it was obvious that Bill Basie had a band to reckon with. Lester Young who had been one of it’s main stars had left when these recordings were made, but the band still had many fine soloists Buck Clayton and ‘Sweets’ Edison in the Trumpets, Dickie Wells and Vic Dickenson in the Trombones and Buddy Tate and Don Byas in the saxes. Coleman Hawkins is a featured guest on track 1, the unforgettable voice of Jimmy rushing is heard on tracks 2, 6 & 9 and strangely Paul Robeson provides the vocal on track 4, he sounds terribly out of place despite his amazing voice!

Tracks 10,12,13 and17 feature a small group consisting of Buck Clayton, Don Byas, Basie, Freddie Green on guitar, Walter Page on bass and Jo Jones on drums. Tracks 11,14 & 16 feature the Count on piano with the rhythm section.

Buck Clayton leads the trumpet section throughout, what a good musician he was, the trumpets were as good as those of any band of this era, he really is one of the great unsung heroes of jazz.

Big bands of this era mostly played blues or blues related compositions, the Woody Herman band of the same era was known as ’the band that played the blues’. It was a great place to start, the riffing that is heard on these tracks gives the band a terrific drive.

Another unsung hero must be Don Byas who plays magnificently on the small band tracks in the company of Buck Clayton. He had a great tenor sax sound and was a very inventive improviser on any theme.

The record is an interesting piece of jazz history, not to be missed!

Don Mather

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