- 9:20 Special
- Goin’ to Chicago Blues
- Fiesta blues
- King Joe, Parts 1 & 2
- Feather Merchant
- Harvard Blues
- Coming Out Party
- Basie Blues
- I’m Gonna move to the Outskirts of Town
- Royal garden Blues
- How Long Blues
- Bugle Blues
- Sugar Blues
- Farewell Blues
- Café Society Blues
- Way Back Blues
- St Louis Blues
- 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
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!