Welcome to the Count Basie Corner

This blog will serve the purpose of sharing live recordings by the great Count Basie, from various stages of his career. I don't know when I'll get started and don't know how fast new posts will follow here, so best you just keep watching.

I was involved in an earlier project on Bill Basie, namely a website planned for release in 2004, the year which marked both his hundreth anniversary as well as the twentieth year of his death. The few of us dedicated to that project in the end got overwhelmed by the amount of work it meant (it was to included the best available discography of the Count's recorded music, articles, short biographies on the musicians, a timeline drafted by yours truly, etc etc). I am *not* planning to release any of that here, except maybe some of my notes from the timeline, now and then.

Also I might try and post the recordings in chronological way, eventually.

Alas, this is the first and only post for the moment, but I have some music around that I'll put up soon here.

I hope you'll enjoy this blog and the opportunity to check out some of Bill Basie's music from various points in time!

Discussion & Comments

This place is of course open for comments and discussion!
By now a few comments were posted to other entries, but in order to organise this blog a bit better, I'd like to have general comments posted here, while comments to any other entries should rather be about the respective entry.

So, write away!

The Timeline

I'll put up a timeline giving some insight into the life and music of Basie. This entry will allow you to access the respective posts directly and will stay right here on top of the blog.

Chapter 1 - Childhood and Youth (1904-1924)
Chapter 2 - First Steps as a professional musician (1924-1927)
Chapter 3 - The Blue Devils, Bennie Moten (1928-1935)
Chapter 4 - Old Testament (1936-1949)
Chapter 5 - The Hard Years - Small Groups (1950-1951)
Chapter 6 - New Testament I - King of Dance (1952-1957)
Chapter 7 - New Testament II - Atomic Basie (1957-1962)
Chapter 8 - The Blazing Saddle Years - Reprise, Verve, Dot... (1962-?)
Chapter 9 - Old Bill Basie - The Final Years (?-1984)

The Music

To get direct access to the sounds posted here, use this entry!

The Thirties
1936 - 1937 - 1938 - 1939

The Forties
1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 - 1944 - 1945 - 1946 - 1947 - 1948 - 1949

The Fifties
1950 - 1951 - 1952 - 1953 - 1954 - 1955 - 1956 - 1957 - 1958 - 1959

The Sixties
1960 - 1961 - 1962 - 1963 - 1964 - 1965 - 1966 - 1967 - 1968 - 1969

The Seventies
1970 - 1971 - 1972 - 1973 - 1974 - 1975 - 1976 - 1977 - 1978 - 1979

The Eighties
1980 - 1981 - 1982 - 1983 - 1984

Count Basie Orchestra (the ghost band)

Basie Compilations
Basie Meets the Master Horns, 1936-53
1944-45 V-Disc LP

Other Compilations
Freddie Webster
Tadd Dameron's Big Ten (also here)

:: 1904-1924 :: The Kid from Red Bank - Childhood & Youth ::

On August 21, 1904, William James Basie is born at his parents’ house on Mechanic Street in Red Bank, NJ. Basie's father, Harvey Lee Basie, worked as a coachman and caretaker for a local judge; his mother, Lilly Ann Childs Basie, earned some money by taking in washing and ironing. A brother who was about eight years older, Leroy. He died when William was a young boy. His father played the mellophone and his mother gave William his first lessons on the family piano; later she paid for her son to take piano lessons with Miss Vandevere.
Besides assisting both his parents with their job, William helps out at the Palace Theater in Red Bank. He learns to operate movie reels and the spotlight for the vaudeville shows.

The story goes that one night the piano player of the Palace Theater - who lived in New York - did not make it to the theatre. Basie offered to sit in, but his offer was declined by the manager. Once the film had begun though, Basie sneaked into the pit and accompanied it nonetheless. He was invited to play the evening show as well that day.

Basie didn't start out on the piano, his first love was for the drums; his father even bought him a set of traps. After hearing Sonny Greer, a young drummer from nearby Long Branch, though, Basie wisely left the drums for the piano. (Greer, of course, would become famous as the original drummer of Duke Ellington's orchestra.)

Basie quit school after his junior year in high school and moved to Asbury Park with his saxophone playing friend Elmer Williams. After a bad autumn start, they returned with more success the following summer, leaving for New York in 1924.

:: 1928-1935 :: Blue Devils, Bennie Moten ::

1928 >> In July 1928, Basie joined Walter Page's Blue Devils, then one of the best if not the best band playing the mid west. Other members of the Blue Devils at that time were Oran "Hot Lips" Page and Jimmy Rushing, both of whom would figure prominently in Basie's bands later.

Basie toured with the Blue Devils into early 1929. During this time, his ideas of orchestral jazz started to take shape. A hallmark of Basie's career was established at this early time already: his ability to strike up personal and professional relationships that would last for decades, across many bands and solo careers.

1929 >> Early in 1929, Basie left the Blue Devils without notice, to play with two lesser known bands in the Kansas City area. He only left Jimmy Rushing a note, explaining: "Once a Blue Devil, always a Blue Devil."

Back to Kansas City
But not long after that, Kansas City began calling me again. I liked Oklahoma City fine, but not much was happening with the Blue Devils. We were still laying off, and I started thinking about getting back to the Eblon Theatre and that organ and all of those joints around Kansas City. There was so much happening all the time in Kansas City. There was a lot of action that I hadn't had time to get into yet.
So I saved enough money for train fare... and then early one morning I got up and took that hat, which I hadn't paid anything on, and a little note by Jimmy Rushing's father's restaurant and left it there. Then I went on down to the station and took the first train to Kansas City.
I hadn't talked to anybody about what I was going to do. I just sort of eased on out of town. I figured that was the best way, because I really hated to leave those guys, and I know they would have tried every tack I could think of to talk me out of it again.
("Good Morning Blues," p. 23)

Basie resumed his job at the Eblon Theater, but now his goal was to join Bennie Moten's highly esteemed band. Basie wouldn't be withheld by the band already having a piano player in Moten himself and schemed his way into Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra by becoming friendly with their arranger, Eddie Durham. He mentioned some ideas for charts and got Durham to take him and his charts to the next rehearsal. Thereupon, Moten hired Basie as staff arranger and soon Basie sat in for Moten at the piano as well. Later he took over all piano duties and would continue to play like that for almost four years.

1930 >> Several other members of the Blue Devils joined Moten around this time. Jimmy Rushing came in late 1929 or early 1930 and Hot Lips Page a few months later. Trombonist Dan Minor, another ex-Blue Devil, followed the next year. That same year Walter Page switched from tuba to string bass and the band's rhythm changed from the old-style two-beat to a more even 4/4.

The Moten repertoire expanded under the guidance of Basie and Durham. Their arrangement of "You're Driving Me Crazy," retitled "Moten Swing," became the unofficial anthem of Kansas City styled jazz.

1932 >> The band made a series of recordings for Victor, culminating in the December 13, 1932 session, which may mark the highlight of Moten's career. Featuring musicians such as Oran "Hot Lips" Page, Eddie Durham, Ben Webster, Walter Page, Jimmy Rushing, and - of course - Count Basie on piano, tunes recorded that day include "Toby," "The Blue Room,” "Lafayette," "Prince of Wails," and an outstanding take of "Moten Swing."

Some weeks later, the band breaks up and many of the men return to their families on Christmas.

1933 >> In summer 1933, the Moten orchestra reunited to play at the former Eblon Theater in Kansas City, now called the Cherry Blossom Club. As business was slow, Moten proposed to join the accomplished K.C. bandleader George E. Lee, whose band had preceded them at the Cherry Blossom Club. Most of the men wanted to stay, though.

The Moten band was a "commonwealth band," with each member having a say in the band's operations. Moten was ousted and Basie - although not one of the instigators - was chosen as its new leader. The ten piece group, full of ex-Blue Devils, including Hot Lips Page, Minor, Buster Smith, Walter Page, and Jo Jones was now billed as Count Basie and His Cherry Blossom Orchestra. Herschel Evans, who came to Kansas early in 1933, played tenor.

The Cherry Blossom band played the Reno consistently for a year and a half. As the musicians already had been working together in various bands, the band was well trained Some Durham-Basie charts were still around from the Moten band, but most of the music was done on the spot, as "head" arrangements. One of the most famous arrangements to be developed like this is "One O'Clock Jump".

One O'clock Jump
One night we were on the air and we had about ten more minutes to go, and the announcer asked what we were going to do, and I said I didn't know. We were talking off the mike because there wasn't but one microphone in there anyway in those days, and that was the one the announcer was on. I said, "I'm just going to start playing," and he said, "What is this?" and I saw how many minutes to one o'clock it was getting to be, so I said, "Call it the 'One O'clock Jump.'" And we hit it with the rhythm section and went into the riffs, and the riffs just stuck.

The Count (II)
By now, the Nickname of “The Count” had been set. Many stories circulate about the origin of Basie's nickname. Basie Recalls: “One night, while we were broadcasting (it was W9XBY, an experimental broadcast station), the announcer called me to the microphone for those usual few words of introduction. He commented that Bill Basie was a rather ordinary name, and further that that werea couple of well-known bandleaders named earl Hines and Duke Ellington. Then he said ‘bill, I think I will call you Count Basie from now on. Is that alright with you?’ I thought he was kidding, shrugged my shoulders and said ‘okay.’"
On another occasion, Basie mentioned the nickname originated out of his penchant for slipping off with Eddie Durham during arranging sessions for the Moten band. Durham remembered: "When Bennie used to come looking for Basie and Basie wasn't there, he'd say, 'Aw, that guy ain't no 'count.'
Basie and I were supposed to be making up new arrangements, but as soon as Basie would hit on something and get me started on the scoring, he would slip on off somewhere, looking for something to drink and some fun. He never got tired of partying. So Bennie would come in and say, 'Where is that no 'count rascal?'" ("Good Morning Blues," p. 147)

1934 >> Lester Young, who heard the Cherry Blossom band on the air, sends Basie a telegram stating that he doesn't think much of his current tenor player - Basie invites Young to join.

When the Cherry Blossom band went on tour in early 1934, Evans, reluctant to travel, Lester Young took his place. At twenty four, Young was already a highly original musician. He started on drums, playing in the band of his father, who also taught him to play trumpet and violin. At age thirteen he started on alto sax: "Just picked the motherfucker up and started playing it," he would later recall. At age nineteen, he switched to tenor. He arrived in Kansas City late in 1933, after touring with various bands, among them the Blue Devils (briefly in 1930 and later in 1932-33). In 1933 he was hired by Fletcher Henderson to replace Coleman Hawkins, who had left to tour Europe. Most of Henderson's band though weren't ready to accept the new sound of Young, altogether different from Hawkins, and so Young was dropped from the band.

The Cherry Blossom band broke up later in 1934.

1935 >> "Hot Lips" Page, Jimmy Rushing, and eventually Basie too, rejoined Moten's new band, staying until Moten’s untimely death on April 2, on the operation table, after a botched tonsillectomy. The band was continued shortly by his brother, Buster Moten, but Basie left soon thereafter. The Moten era was over.

Together with Buster Smith, Basie organised a new group of nine musicians, consisting of members of the Blue Devils and the Moten band, among them Walter Page, Jo Jones and later also Lester Young. Jimmy Rushing became the band's singer.
That band, starring three trumpets, three reeds, and three rhythm, was called Three, Three, and Three.

The band was named the Barons of Rhythm and soon started playing the Reno Club in Kansas City. This wasn't exactly a high-class joint. A small club serving liquor and food, it had a small band playing for dancing, girls available to dance with, and a whorehouse upstairs.
During the time at the Reno, Walter Page started to replace the tuba more and more with the string bass.

Basie would lead his own orchestra from then until his death, almost fifty years later, with the exception of a brief period in the early fifties.


Count Basie Orchestra
Directed by Frank Foster
25th Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen
Burghausen (Germany), Wackerhalle
March 27, 1994

Here's a video by one of the earlier editions of the "ghost band" - took me a while to upload, but with the big pauses between uploads and posts here, I'm feeling a bit guilty anyway...

Big thanks go out to the person who recorded and shared this!

1. After You've Gone
2. Corner Pocket
3. April In Paris
4. Right On, Right On
5. We'll Be Jammin'
6. Every Day I Have The Blues
7. Falling In Love Is Wonderful
8. There'll Never Be Another You
9. Whirly Bird
10. Jumpin' At The Woodside

TT: 43:12

Source: Digital Satellite -> raw data to HDD, -> ProjectX -> TMPGEnc DVD Author -> Video_ts;
audio is 2 channel MP2@192
No conversion of any kind - this is the actual very hq broadcast signal!


Paris (France), Olympia, May 5, 1962 - Live Session (Radio France)

Sonny Cohn, Al Aarons, Thad Jones, Snooky Young (t), Henry Coker, Quentin Jackson, Benny Powell (tb), Marshall Royal (as,cl), Frank Wess (as,ts,fl), Eric Dixon (ts,fl), Frank Foster (ts,cl), Charlie Fowlkes (bari), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Eddie Jones (b), Sonny Payne (d), Irene Reid (voc #19)
Note: Joe Williams (voc - not heard here but present at the concert)

01 Why Not (Hefti) 3:17
02 Easy Money (Carter) 5:37
03 Vine Street Rumble (Carter) 4:04
04 Discommotion (Foster) 3:54
05 Mama's Talking Soft (4:11)
06 Jumpin' at the Woodside (Basie) 3:38
07 Easin' It (Foster) 5:26
[- All Right, Okay, You Win - MISSING (voc: Joe Williams)]
08 Basie (Wilkins) 4:29
09 Lil' Darlin (Hefti) 4:04
10 Toot Sweet (Thad Jones) 3:37
11 You're Too Beautiful (3:47)
12 Blee Blop Blues (A.K. Salim) 2:12
13 April in Paris (Duke-Harburg) 3:38
14 The Song Is You (Kern-Hammerstein) 2:46
15 Stella By Starlight (Washington-Young) 2:48
16 Cute (Hefti) 3:37
17 I Needs to Be Bee'd With (Quincy Jones) 4:57
18 Nails (Harding) 4:00
19 The Blues (4:24) (voc: Irene Reid)
[- One O'Clock Jump - MISSING]

Released on various labels, most recently LaserLight, hence this comes as MP3 only.


Paris (France), Palais de Chaillot, March 29, 1960 - Live Session (Radio France)

Sonny Cohn, Thad Jones, Joe Newman, Snooky Young (t), Al Grey, Benny Powell, Henry Coker (tb), Marshall Royal (as,cl), Frank Wess (as,ts,fl), Frank Foster (ts,cl), Billy Mitchell (ts), Charlie Fowlkes (bari), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Eddie Jones (b), Sonny Payne (d), Joe Williams (voc #17-21)

01 Shiny Stockings (Foster) 4:52)
02 H.R.H. (Thad Jones) 2:33
03 A Little Tempo Please (Hefti) 2:47
04 Vine Street Rumble (Carter) 4:44
05 Makin' Whoopee (Kahn-Donaldson) 3:58
06 Who Me? (Foster) 3:36
07 Bag A'Bones (Hefti) 2:15
08 In a Mellow Tone (Ellington) 5:43
09 Lil' Darlin' (Hefti) 4:04
10 Blues in Hoss' Flat (Foster) 4:57
11 Fancy Meeting You (Hefti) 2:34
12 You're too Beautiful (3:01)
13 I Needs to Be Bee'd With (Quincy Jones) 3:55
14 Counter Block (Thad Jones) 3:34
15 Splanky (Hefti) 3:35
16 Segue in C (Wess) 8:23
17 Five O'Clock in the Morning (Williams) 2:56
18 Baby Won't You Please Come Home (Warfield-Williams) 1:50
19 Just a Dream (Broonzy) 3:01
20 It's a Wonderful World (Adamson-Savitt-Watson) 1:45
21 In the Evenin' (When the Sun Goes Down) (Carr-Raye) 3:10

Released on various labels, most recently LaserLight, hence this comes as MP3 only.


1954-09-02 (MP3)

American Legion Park, Ephrata, Penn. (USA)
Recorded by WLAN

Reunald Jones, Thad Jones, Wendell Culley, Joe Newman (tp), Bill Hughes, Henry Coker, Benny Powell (tb), Marshal Royal (cl,as), Ernie Wilkins (as,ts), Frank Wess (ts,fl), Frank Foster (ts), Charlie Fowlkes (bs), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Eddie Jones (b), Gus Johnson (ds)

1. One O'Clock Jump (theme) (Count Basie) 0:49
2. You for Me (Neal Hefti) 3:24
3. Bubbles (Neal Hefti) 4:04
4. You're Not the Kind (Pierce) 3:26
5. Jonesy (Neal Hefti) 3:08
6. Slow But Sure (Two for the Blues) (Neal Hefti) 2:56
7. Blee Blop Blues (A.K. Salim) 2:35
8. Yesterdays (Kern-Harbach) 3:08
9. Perdido (Juan Tizol) 3:36

Note: commercially released on Black Lion BLP60924 / BLCD 760924 (ripped from CD)

1954-09-07 (MP3)

Boston, Mass. (USA)
Produced by George Wein

Joe Newman (tp), Henry Coker (tb), Frank Wess (ts,fl), Frank Foster (ts), Charlie Fowlkes (bs), Count Basie (p,org-1), Freddie Green (g), Eddie Jones (b), Gus Johnson (ds)

1. These Foolish Things (Strachey-Marvell) 3:27
2. These Foolish Things (alt) 3:20
3. Ingin' the Ooh (Count Basie) 5:26
4. Peter Pan (Foster-Newman) 4:02
5. I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) (Doc Dougherty-Ellis Reynolds-Al J. Neiburg) 3:30 (-1)
6. In Case you Didn't Know (Ernie Wilkins) 5:40
7. In Case you Didn't Know (alt) 3:40
8. Ain't It the Truth (Buster Harding) 3:51

missing: Bill Bailey Went Home, Ain't It the Truth (alt)


commercially released on Black Lion BLP60924 / BLCD 760924 (ripped from CD)

This was originally released as "Joe Newman and the Boys in the Band" (Storyville STLP 318)
The two missing titles (as well as some of the eight included here) were released on Trio PA-3114 (Japan)


Buck Clayton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Al Killian, Ed Lewis (tp), Robert Scott, Eli Robinson, Dicky Wells (tb), Earl Warren (as, voc), Tab Smith (ss,as), Buddy Tate, Don Byas (ts), Jack Washington (bari), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (d), Jimmy Rushing (voc)

Cafe Society Uptown, New York (Radio Broadcast)

1. Out the Window (Eddie Durham)
(Opening clipped) arr: Eddie Durham
2. I Want a Little Girl (Moll-Mencher) (Rushing-voc)
arr: Jimmy Mundy
3. Rocking the Blues (Earl Warren)
arr: Buster Harding
4. What Word is Sweeter Than Sweetheart (Warren-voc)
5. Something New (Gamse-Menandez)
arr: Jimmy Mundy
6. Topsy (Eddie Durham-Edgar Battle)
arr: Eddie Durham
7. Air Mail Special (Charlie Christian-Benny Goodman)

Cafe Society Uptown, New York (Radio Broadcast)

1. Board Meeting
(untitled original in Sheridan)
2. Down, Down, Down (Don Redman)
arr: Don Redman
3. Take Me Back Baby (Tab Smith-Jimmy Rushing-Count Basie) (Rushing-voc)
Master arr: Andy Gibson
[4. Blue Lou (Edgar Sampson-Irving Mills)
arr: Don Redman]
[5. I Found a New Baby (Warren-voc)]
6. Broadway (Henri Woode)
arr: Henri Woode
[7. Sweet Georgia Brown (Ben Bernie-Maceo Pinkard-Kenneth Casey)
arr: head arrangement]

1941-10-10 (#3 alternate source)
Cafe Society Uptown, New York (Radio Broadcast)

1. Down for Double (Freddie Green)
arr: Buck Clayton
2. This Time the Dream's on Me (Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer) (Warren-voc)
3. Elmer's Tune (Elmer Albrecht-Sammy Gallop-Dick Jurgene)
[4. Yes Indeed (Sy Oliver) (Rushing-voc)]
[5. Moon Nocturne (Earle Warren) (Warren-voc)
arr: Earle Warren ?]

Cafe Society Uptown, New York (Radio Broadcast)

1. H and J (Harry Sweets Edison)
arr: Buck Clayton
2. Diggin' for Dex (Eddie Durham)
arr: Eddie Durham
3. Goin' to Chicago (Count Basie-Jimmy Rushing) (Rushing-voc)
arr: Buck Clayton

Café Society Uptown, New York City (Radio Broadcast)

1. Baby Don't Tell on Me (Lester Young-Jimmy Rushing) (Rushing-voc)
arr: Eddie Durham
2. Swinging the Blues (Eddie Durham-Count Basie)
arr: Eddie Durham
3. One O'Clock Jump (Eddie Durham-Hot Lips Page-Buster Smith) (theme)


Buck Clayton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Ed Lewis (tp) Dan Minor, Benny Morton, Dicky Wells (tb) Earl Warren (as) Herschel Evans, Lester Young (ts) Jack Washington (as,bs) Count Basie (p) Freddie Green (g) Walter Page (b) Jo Jones (ds) Helen Humes (vcl-1) Jimmy Rushing (vcl-2) band vcl-3

1938-07-03 (mostly here as MP3)

Famous Door(?) New York, NY (USA)

One O'Clock Jump (Count Basie)
Every Tub (Count Basie-Eddie Durham)
Song of the Wanderer (N. Moret)
Flat Foot Floogie (Slim Gaillard-Slam Stewart-Bud Green)
Lady Be Good (George Gershwin-Ira Gershwin)
Boogie Woogie Blues (Clarence Smith)
One O'Clock Jump (Count Basie)
I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (Duke Ellington)
One O'clock jump (Count Basie)

The contribution is missing the final two titles, "I Let a Song..." and "One O'Clock Jump".
The other half of the contribution is here (1937).
I might post this as FLAC later.


Buck Clayton, Joe Keyes, Carl Smith (tp), George Hunt, Dan Minor (tb), Caughey Roberts (as,cl), Herschel Evans, Lester Young (ts), Jack Washington (as/bs), Count Basie (p), Claude Williams (g,vln), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (ds), Jimmy Rushing (vcl)


Chatterbox Room, William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
WCAE Radio Broadcast (Mutual Broadcasting System)
Leslie Williams (mc), around 11 pm for dancers

1. Oh! Lady Be Good (George Gershwin-Ira Gershwin) 4:44
Basie, p (intro); Basie, p; Evans, ts; Williams, vln; Smith, tp
2. St. Louis Blues (W.C. Handy, arr. Fletcher Henderson) 5:29
Basie, p (intro); Keyes, tp; Hunt, tb; Rushing, voc; Rushing, voc w/Evans, ts obbligato; Young, ts; Smith, tp; Clayton, tp; Basie, p; Williams, vln; Roberts, as
3. Moten Swing (theme) (inc) (Bennie Moten, head arr.) 0:09
Basie, p (intro); Young, ts
4. Shoe Shine Swing [Roseland Shuffle] (Count Basie, arr. Fletcher Henderson) 2:11
Basie, p; Young, ts; Basie, p; Basie, p/Young, ts (4/4)
5. Moten Swing (theme) (Bennie Moten, head arr.) 1:36
Basie, p (intro); Young, ts; Basie, p w/band


Chatterbox Room, William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
WCAE-Mutual Broadcast, around 11 pm for dancers

1. Moten Swing (theme) (Bennie Moten, head arr.) 1:00
Basie, p (intro); Young (ts)
2. King Porter Stomp (Jelly Roll Morton, arr. Fletcher Henderson) 2:54
Clayton, tp; Evans, ts; Clayton, tp; Hunt, tb
3. I'll Always Be In Love With You (Herman Ruby-Bud Green-Sam Stept) 252
Basie, p (intro); Basie, p; Smith, tp; Young, ts; Jones, d
4. You Do the Darndest Things, Baby (L. Pollack-S.D. Mitchell) 3:17
Basie, p; Rushing, voc; Clayton, tp; Evans, ts; Clayton, tp; Basie, p
5. Swinging at the Daisy Chain (Count Basie) 4:09
Basie, p (intro); Young, ts; Clayton, tp; Evans, ts; Basie, p; Page, b break; Jones, d; Basie, p; Page, b; Jones, d; Clayton, tp
6. Riffin' [Rug Cutter's Swing] (Fletcher or Horace Henderson, arr. Fletcher Henderson) 3:25
Smith, tp; Young, ts; Smith, tp break; Young, ts break; Hunt, tb break; Jones, d break
7. Yeah! Man (inc) (Robinson-Noble Sissle, arr. Horace Henderson) 2:24
Washington, bs; Clayton, tp; Young, ts


Chatterbox Room, William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
WCAE-Mutual Broadcast, around 11 pm for dancers

1. Oh! Lady Be Good (George Gershwin-Ira Gershwin, head arr.) 3:18
Basie, p (intro); Evans, ts; Smith, tp
2. Tattersfield Stomp (arr. Fletcher Hederson) 2:35
Young, ts; Basie, p; Young, ts; Smith, tp; Minor, tb; Basie, p; Basie p break; Young, ts break, Washington, bs

missing: Magnolias in the Moonlight (inc)

Buck Clayton, Ed Lewis, Bobby Moore (tp), Eddie Durham, Dan Minor, Benny Morton (tb), Earl Warren (as), Herschel Evans (ts), Lester Young (ts,cl), Jack Washington (as,bs), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (ds), Jimmy Rushing (vcl-1), Billie Holiday (vcl-2)

1937-11-03 (mostly here as MP3)

Meadowbrook Ballroom, Cedar Grove, NJ (USA)

Moten Swing (Bennie Moten, arr. Buck Clayton)
One O'Clock Jump (Count Basie, head arr.)
I Can't Get Started (Vernon Duke-Ira Gershwin, arr. Clayton)
A Study in Brown (Larry Clinton, arr. Fletcher Henderson)
I Got Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes (-1)
John's Idea (Count Basie, arr. Bobby Durham)
Good Morning Blues (-1) (Count Basie-Eddie Durham-Jimmy Rushing, arr. Durham)
Dinah (-1) (Henry Akst-Sam Lewis-Joe Young)

The contribution is missing: I Can't Get Started (-2)
The other part of the contribution is here (1938).
I might post this as FLAC eventually as well!

Count Basie And His Orchestra 1937/1938

Here's another contribution from Kent - thanks a lot!

This LP unites two broadcasts from 1937 and 1938, respectively. Check the two respective entries for further detail!

01 Moten Swing (Theme) 1:10
02 One O'Clock Jump 4:33
03 Study In Brown 2:50
04 Rhythm In My Nursery Rhymes 2:26
05 John's Idea 4:57
06 Good Morning Blues 2:49
07 Dinah 2:50

Buck Clayton, Ed Lewis, Bobby Hicks, tpts; Benny Morton, Dan Minor, tbns; Earl Warren, as; Jack Washingtn, as, bars; Herschel Evans, Lester Young, cl, ts; Count Basie, p, ld; Freddy Green, g; Eddie Durham, tb, g; Walter Page, b; Jo Jones, d; Jimmy Rushing, voc
"Meadowbrook Ballroom", Cedar Grove, NJ, November 1937

08 One O'Clock Jump (Theme) 2:00
09 Every Tub 3:03
10 Song Of The Wanderer 2:36
11 Flat Foot Floogie 4:33
12 Lady Be Good 3:27
13 Boogie Woogie Blues 3:15
14 One O'Clock Jump (Closing Theme) 6:13

Buck Clayton, Ed Lewis, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, tpts; Dicky Wells, Benny Morton, Dan Minor, tbns; Earl Warren, as; Jack Washingtn, as, bars; Herschel Evans, Lester Young, cl, ts; Count Basie, p, ld; Freddy Green, g; Eddie Durham, tb, g; Walter Page, b; Jo Jones, d; Helen Humes, Jimmy Rushing, voc
"Famous Door", NY, July 1938

Note from Kent: I left the LP quasi intact. If you'd import it to iTunes, you can listen to it in a row. In case you should burn it on CD, chose 0 seconds between the tracks.

mp3@160, VBR-mono

Freddie Webster 1941-1947 (Compilation)

Another contribution from generous Kent, dedicated to trumpet player Freddie Webster.
Read some more here:

Tracks and basic credits:

Earl Hines & His Orchestra, 1941:
01 Windy City Jive 2:52
02 Swingin' On C 3:09
03 Yellow Fire 3:03

Louis Jordan & His Tympani Five, 1941:
04 Brotherly Love 3:00
05 Saxa-Woogie 2:36

Jimmy Lunceford & His Orchestra, 1942:
06 Knock Me A Kiss 3:00
07 Bust Out 1:40

Lucky Millinder & His Orchestra, 1942:
08 I Want A Tall Skinny Papa 2:51
09 Savoy 3:02

Benny Carter & His Orchestra, 1943:
10 Rose Room 3:00
11 Sweet Georgia Brown 2:30

Jimmy Lunceford & His Orchestra, 1944:
12 Yesterdays 5:44
13 Minor Riff 2:49

Miss Rhapsody, 1945:
14 He May Be Your Man 2:56
15 The Night Before Judgement Day 2:53
16 I Fell For You 3:00

Frank Socolow Quintet, 1945:
17 Reverse The Charges 2:49
18 The Man I Love 3:16
19 September In The Rain 2:46

Sarah Vaughan, 1946:
20 If You Could See Me Now 2:50
21 I Can Make You Love Me If You'll Let Me 3:07
22 You're Not The Kind Of A Boy 2:46
23 My Kinda Love 2:38
24 Tenderly (1947) 3:02

Tadd Dameron's Big Ten - Dial "D & T" for "Dameron & Trumpets" - 1949/1953

This is a terrific contribution compiled and shared by Kent - thanks a lot!
This deserves being exposed not only on the main blog but here, too!

I'm a big fan of Tadd Dameron's and have his official releases (the Navarro/Dameron Blue Note 2CD set and all the OJCs), as well as three of those Boris Rose LPs. But I'm no good as far as digitizing vinyl goes, so this is very, very much appreciated!

Some further reading:
AAJ's biography
Part 30 of "Jazzed in Cleveland" by Joe Mosbrook
"I Remember Tadd" by George Ziskind

Tadd Dameron's Big Ten - Dial "D & T" for "Dameron & Trumpets" - 1949/1953

The Fats-Navarro-Sides (1949):
01 Sid's Delight aka Tadd's Delight (studio) 2:53
02 Casbah (Rae Pearl-voc, studio) 2:59

With Miles Davis - Broadcasts from the "Royal Roost":
03 Focus (live) 3:57
04 April In Paris 2:57
05 Good Bait (Take 23) 3:30
06 Webb's Delight aka Tadd's or Sid's Delight 3:44
07 Milé or Miles aka Milano) 3:40
08 Casbah (live) 3:42

With Miles Davis - Studio Date:
09 John's Delight 2:56
10 What's New? (Kay Penton-voc) 2:59
11 Heaven's Doors Are Open Wide (Kay Penton-voc) 3:16
12 Focus (studio) 2:57

Dial "B" For Brownie (1953):
13 Philly J. J. 5:08
14 Choose Now (#1) 4:52
15 Choose Now (#2) 3:25
16 Dial 'B' For Beauty 4:33
17 Theme Of No Repeat 5:19


#1-#2: Fats Navarro (tp) Kai Winding (tb) Sahib Shihab (as) Dexter Gordon (ts) Cecil Payne (bars) Tadd Dameron (p) Curly Russell (b) Kenny Clarke (d) Vidal Balado (cga) Diego Iborra (bgo) Rae Pearl (voc) - NYC, January 18, 1949;

#3-#6: Miles Davis (tp) Kai Winding (tb) Sahib Shihab (as) Benjamin Lundy (ts) Cecil Payne (bars) Tadd Dameron (p) John Collins (g) Curly Russell (b) Kenny Clarke (d) Carlos Vidal (cga), radio broadcast, "Royal Roost" - NYC, February 19, 1949;

#7-#8: Same personnel, radio broadcast, "Royal Roost" - NYC, February 26, 1949;

#9-#12: Miles Davis (tp) J.J. Johnson (tb) Sahib Shihab (as) Benjamin Lundy (ts) Cecil Payne (bars) Tadd Dameron (p, arr) John Collins (g) Curly Russell (b) Kenny Clarke (d) Kay Penton (voc #10 & #11) - NYC, April 19, 1949;

#13-#17: Clifford Brown, Idrees Sulieman (tp) Herb Mullins (tb) Gigi Gryce (as) Benny Golson (ts) Oscar Estell (bars) Tadd Dameron (p, arr) Percy Heath (b) Philly Joe Jones (d) - NYC, June 11, 1953

Count Basie meets the Master Horns - 1936-1953

Another contribution by Kent - here are his comments (originally posted over here):

Hi Ubu,

this is a compilation I've made up myself. So you can't purchase it anywhere. The idea was, to bring several tracks in chronological order which show Count Basie and some of his most illustrious sidemen and one guest you never would think of: Artie Shaw, the king of clarinet!

The tunes on that album stem from three different sources: "Lady Be Good" from 1936 is from Basie's complete Columbia-LP-Box-Set. The one track from 1938 and the tracks from 1944 are from a Hindsight-Lp, which you could find on CD here:

The last two tracks are from a jam session the Count did in 1953 for Norman Granz. That is the only compete LP. The links between the tracks are "Lady Be Good", Artie Shaw and Buddy DeFranco, Lester Young, Stan Getz and Wardell Gray and trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison who is soloing on the 1938, 1944 and the 1953 tracks.

Here the tracks & dates:

01 - One O'Clock Jump (Theme)
02 - Lady Be Good - Jones-Smith Inc.
03 - Ev'ry Tub - Lester Young (ts), Harry "Sweets" Edison (tp)
04 - Lady Be Good - Artie Shaw (cl) & Count Basie's Orchestra
05 - Jumpin' At The Woodside - Lester Young & Harry "Sweets" Edison
06 - Bird Calls - Artie Shaw & Count Basie's Rhythm Section
07 - Lady Be Good - All Star Jam
08 - Blues For The Count - All Star Jam


01, 04, 05 & 06 - Count Basie (ld, p), Earle Warren, James Powell, Rudy Rutherford, Eli Thompson (saxes), Ed Lewis, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Al Killian, Joe Newman (tpts), Eli Robinson, Ted Donnelly, Lou Taylor, Dicky Wells (tbns), Artie Shaw (clarinet), Freddie Greene (g), Rodney Richardson (b), Shadow Wilson (d) - 1944;

02 - Count Basie (p), Lester Young (ts), Walter Page (b), Jo Jones (d), Carl Smith (tp) - Chicago, November 9, 1936; - Sorry for my Freudian mistyping on the mp3!

03 - Count Basie & His Orchestra - Lester Young (ts), Harry Sweets Edison (tp), Count Basie, Freddie Greene, Walter Page & Jo Jones = The All American Rhythm Section - Live, 1938;

07 - Count Basie (p), John Simmons (b), Buddy Rich (d), Freddie Greene (g), Stan Getz (ts), Wardell Gray (ts), Harry "Sweets" Edison (tp), Willie Smith (as), Buddy DeFranco (cl) - August 18, 1953;

08 - Count Basie (org), John Simmons (b), Buddy Rich (d), Freddie Greene (g), Benny Carter (as), Buddy DeFranco (cl), Harry "Sweets" Edison (tp), Wardell Gray (ts), Stan Getz (ts) - August 18, 1953;

Note to track #1: at the very ending, during the roaring out chorus, one can hear a clarinet, very loud, very high but in absolute control. Is this Artie Shaw as well? The typical glissandi are there and the tone could also be his. But that kinda dirty playing and singing into the instrument, almost like Benny Goodman ... I don't know, since there's nothing written in the liners.

More Music Coming Soon!

For those who can't wait for more goodies to appear here... there's good news, I'm in the process of preparing a load of stuff, covering roughly 1937-1946. Be patient, but be assure I haven't forgotten or even abandoned this site!


I'll be away playing Joe Zawinul's "Birdland" (in a horribly stiff upper lip arrangement, I'm sure) and lots of crap for three weeks in the army band... sorry for the slow start I got here, but more will follow, that I can guarantee!

John S. Wilson's NY Times obituary and some Lestorian sounds

For starters, here's a link to John S. Wilson's obituary in April 27, 1984 edition of the New York Times:
Count Basie, 79, Band Leader And Master of Swing, Dead

And here, on my main blog, you can check out in MP3 @ 320 kbs format most of the live recordings available by Basie's greatest ever sideman, Lester "Pres" Young:
Lester Young Live and Private Recordings in Chronological Order

:: 1924-1927 :: First Steps as a professional musician ::

1924 >> After moving to New York in the summer of 1924, Basie meets fellow pianists James P. Johnson, Lucky Roberts, Willie "The Lion" Smith, and Fats Waller. Their stride style remained a strong component in Basie’s music throughout his career, despite his more minimalist aesthetic.

Fats Waller
Basie recalls: "I saw Fats Waller. I dropped into the old Lincoln theatre in Harlem and heard a young fellow beating it out on the organ. From that time on, I was a daily customer. Hanging onto his every note, sitting behind him all the time, fascinated by the ease with which his hands pounded the keys and manipulated the pedals. He got used to seeing me. As though I was part of the show. One day he asked me whether I played the organ. 'no', I said, 'but I'd give my right arm to learn.' The next day he invited me to sit in the pit and start working the pedals. I sat on the floor, watching his feet, and used my hands to imitate them. Then I sat beside him and he taught me."

Basie gained valuable experience as house pianist in “Leroy’s,” the first Harlem cabaret open to black patrons.

A nineteen year old, Basie started playing on the Columbia Wheel and TOBA vaudeville circuits. He worked as a solo pianist, accompanist, and musical director for blues singers, dancers, and comedians. One of his first jobs was with an act called Kattie Crippin and Her Kids, later with another act called Hippity Hope. Early in his career, he also played with June Clark's band and accompanied singers Clara Smith and Maggie Jones. Soon, he joined a road show led by Gonzel White, where he played in a four-piece band and even acted the part of a villain in one of the comedy skits. While on tour with White, he first heard Walter Page's Blue Devils, a band he would join soon.

The Count (I)
Just when William "Bill" Basie threw off his former nickname "Nutty" to become "The Count" is not clear. But by 1927, his business card told fellow musicians: "Beware, The Count Is Here".

One morning, Basie would later recount in his autobiography "Good Morning Blues," he was woken up in a Tulsa, Oklahoma hotel room by what he thought was a record playing. Checking out the source of the music, he found out it was actually a band: Walter Page and His Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils
Basie recounts: "Everybody seemed to be having so much fun just being up there and playing together, and they looked good and sounded good to boot. There was such a team spirit among those guys, and it came out in the music... hearing them that day was probably the most important turning point in my musical career, so far as my notions about what kind of music I really wanted to try to play were concerned." (from "Good Morning Blues")

The next time Basie met the Blue Devils, their pianist was sick, and Basie sat in for a couple of nights. Walter Page, the leader of the band, was sufficiently impressed to give the young pianist his address.

Soon thereafter, Gonzelle White's troupe broke up. Basie got ill with a spinal meningitis, and although he recovered within a few weeks, he was broke and stranded in Kansas City. In those years, there were enough jobs for a musician in Kansas City, though, and Basie soon found himself playing organ in a silent movie house, the Eblon Theater.