Count Basie
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1904-08-21
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/0dbd6300-efdc-420b-857e-895e18fad317

Count Basie Biography (BBC)

One of the most famous of all big band leaders, Basie grew up in New Jersey, and started out playing New York's fashionable 'stride' style of piano. He also learned the organ alongside his contemporary Fats Waller. Around 1923, Basie went on the road with a travelling revue, and it was while backing another touring show that he fetched up in Kansas City in 1927. There he played in some of the famous 'territory' bands, who toured the Midwest - Walter Page's Blue Devils and Bennie Moten's Orchestra.

He led his own band in the after hours clubs of Kansas City, and he became famous for its robust style, built on the blues. Entrepreneur John Hammond heard the band on a broadcast, and helped bring Basie to New York in 1937, where his group became famous. Its soloists included trumpeters Buck Clayton and Sweets Edison, and saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans. Its real strength was its rhythm section with drummer Jo Jones, bassist Walter Page and guitarist Freddie Green joining Basie's minimalist piano to produced an unparalleled mastery of swing.

Basie led this big band until the end of the 1940s , when economics forced him to reduce to an octet, but in the early 1950s he once more formed a big band - known as his 'New Testament' group. This had brilliant arrangements by Neal Hefti, Buster Harding and Ernie Wilkins, plus a new breed of soloist who combined bebop ideas with a sense of blues and swing. Star sidemen included trumpeters Joe Newman and Thad Jones, and saxophonists Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, Frank Foster and Frank Wess.

With this band Basie continued to be one of the most influential and popular of all bandleaders right up until the time of his death. He toured constantly, made classic albnums with several singers, including Tony Bennett and Sarah Vaughan, but his finest vocal discs feature the band's original Kansas City blues shouter Jimmy Rushing, or his post-war equivalent, the urbane Joe Williams.

Count Basie Biography (Wikipedia)

William James "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By 16 years old, he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924, he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten's death in 1935.

In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie's theme songs were "One O'Clock Jump", developed in 1935 in the early days of his band, and later "April in Paris".

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Count Basie Performances & Interviews


Count Basie Tracks

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Count Basie
From Russia With Love
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From Russia With Love
Frank Sinatra
I've Got You Under My Skin
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I've Got You Under My Skin
Count Basie
Jumpin' At The Woodside
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Jumpin' At The Woodside
Count Basie
April in Paris
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April in Paris
Frank Sinatra
I Believe In You
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I Believe In You
Tony Bennett
Are You Havin Any Fun
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Are You Havin Any Fun
Count Basie
Jive at Five
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Jive at Five
Count Basie
Ain't Misbehavin'
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Ain't Misbehavin'
Count Basie
Swinging Shepherd Blues
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Swinging Shepherd Blues
Count Basie
The Kid From Red Bank
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The Kid From Red Bank
Count Basie
I’m Beginning To See The Light
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I’m Beginning To See The Light
Count Basie
When Sunny Gets Blue
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When Sunny Gets Blue
Jackie Wilson
Uptight
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Uptight
Count Basie
I Could Have Told You (feat. Arthur Prysock)
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I Could Have Told You (feat. Arthur Prysock)
Count Basie
Good "Swing" Wenceslas
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Good "Swing" Wenceslas
Count Basie
Lullabye Of Birdland
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Lullabye Of Birdland
Count Basie
No Moon At All
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No Moon At All
Count Basie
Half Moon Street
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Half Moon Street
Billy Eckstine
Lonesome Lover Blues
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Lonesome Lover Blues
Lester Young
Lester Leaps In
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Lester Leaps In
Count Basie
Blues In Hoss' Flat
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Blues In Hoss' Flat
Count Basie
Lester Leaps In
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Lester Leaps In
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