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


Count Basie and His Orchestra

Jumpiní at Ten



Jimmyís Idea
Take Me Back Baby
I Donít Know Why
Avenue C
Step In Fetch It
Hob Nail Boogie
I Never Knew*
Jumping At The Woodside*
San Jose*
Please Donít Talk About Me When Iím Gone*
Itís Sand Man*
Jumpiní At Ten.*
Theme: One OíClock Jump*
Ed Lewis, Emmet Berry, Eugene Young, Harry Edison (trumpet), Ted Donnelly, George Mathews, Eli Robinson (trombone), Buddy Tate, Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone), Elman ĎRudyí Rutherford (alto and baritone saxophones), Preston Love (alto saxophone, clarinet), Count Basie (piano), Freddy Green (guitar) Rodney Richardson (bass), Shadow Wilson (drums), Ann Moore, Jimmy Rushing (vocals); * add Dicky Wells (trombone), Lucky Thompson, Illinois Jacquet (tenor saxophone).
Recorded 1946, Avadon Ballroom, Los Angeles, California; * 1946, Services Concert, Los Angeles, California.

During the mid-forties, the Basie band underwent many changes of personnel, some of them due to key figures (such as Buck Clayton and Jack Washington) being called up for military service and others as a consequence of the hard times the whole big band movement was beginning to encounter. The band heard on these recordings includes both older (Freddy Green, Buddy Tate) and fairly new (Snooky Young, Illinois Jacquet, Rudy Rutherford) faces.

Complete with period radio announcements, these broadcasts give a thoroughly atmospheric sound picture of the band at work outside the recording studio, playing material both familiar and unfamiliar. They open with an arrangement by Jimmy Mundy and it is clear at once that the band has all the rhythmic punch one might expect from a Basie orchestra fuelled by the everlasting Freddy Green and the admirable Shadow Wilson. Most of the tracks are very short, but many find room for telling solo contributions from such as snooky Young, Dicky Wells, Eli Robinson, Paul Gonsalves and Rudy Rutherford (on clarinet). And, of course, from the leader himself. There are vocals by the marvellous Jimmy Rushing and the rather less interesting Ann Moore.

Highlights include a fiercely swinging Avenue C, with Gonsalves in full flow and the brass section a model of controlled power; some lovely contributions by the Kid from Red Bank, William Basie on Step In Fetch It and Hob Nail Boogie; a fine version of Jumping at the Woodside, which never seems to lose its freshness; Snooky Youmgís work on San Jose; the interjections by Dicky Wells (or is it Eli Robinson?) on Tush; Rushingís Please Donít Talk About Me When Iím Gone, authoritatively good-humoured as always and beautifully complemented by soloists and full-band alike. Shadow Wilsonís work at the drums is a joy throughout (not that he takes a single solo). But, in a sense, the real Ďstarí of the proceedings is the band as a whole, since so much of the ensemble playing has passion, power, energy Ė and just enough discipline.

The sound quality on the tracks from the Avadon Ballroom leaves the rhythm section rather indistinct, so that one feels it more than one hears it. The sound quality on the tracks from the Services Concert is generally better, and a little more detailed.

The playing time is very short, but what we have is very enjoyable, and any admirers of the Basie band who donít already own these recordings will surely want to acquire them.

Glyn Pursglove

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