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Count Basie

Guide about Count Basie with biography, annotated listing of recordings, videos, readings, interviews, oral histories, and websites.

Pablo Records, 1973-1984

All recordings produced by Norman Granz

Jazz at the Santa Monica Civic '72
Pablo 2625-701 (LP)
This concert on June 2, 1972 headlining Basie and Ella Fitzgerald signaled Norman Granz’s return to recording. And for good reason. Sparks flew when he turned the occasion into a reprise of his internationally famous Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts. Surprise guests included Oscar Peterson (p), Ray Brown (b), Stan Getz (ts), Roy Eldridge (tp), Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (ts), Al Grey (tb) and Harry “Sweets” Edison (tp). Ella’s stunning finale on C-Jam Blues, in which she engages with all the guest soloists, makes this an all-around great record!

Basie Jam
Pablo, 1973; PACD-2310-718 (LP and CD); Original Jazz Classics OJC 631
Basie, piano and organ, with Harry “Sweets” Edison (tp), J.J. Johnson (tb), Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (ts), Zoot Sims (ts), Irving Ashby (g), Ray Brown (b), and Louie Bellson (d)
This is the rollout of the series of small group recordings with Basie sidling away from the band to mix it up in the studio with old friends and admirers.

The Bosses
Pablo, 1973; Pablo 2310-709 (LP); Original Jazz Classics, OJCCD-821, 1994 (CD)
Same personnel as above the following day with blues singer Joe Turner on vocals.

For the First Time: The Count Basie Trio
Pablo, 1974; Pablo 2310-712 (LP); Pablo 2310-712 (CD)

For the Second Time: The Kansas City 3
Pablo, 1983; Original Jazz Classics 600 (LP); Original Jazz Classics, OJC 600 (CD)
Basie joined Ray Brown (b) and Louie Bellson (d) for the debut recording by the group, followed by a rematch nine years later.

Recordings with Oscar Peterson

Satch and Josh
Pablo, 1974; Pablo 2310-722 (LP); Original Jazz Classics OJC 959

Satch and Josh . . . Again
Pablo, 1977; Pablo 2310-802 (LP); Original Jazz Classics 960 (CD)

The Timekeepers
Pablo, 1978; Pablo 2310-896; Original Jazz Classics OJC 790 (CD)

Night Rider
Pablo, 1980; Pablo 2310-843 (LP); Original Jazz Classics OJC 688 (CD)
This pairing of Basie and Oscar Peterson demonstrates the pleasing interaction between Basie’s minimalism and Peterson’s restrained but still fulsome technique.

Basie & Zoot
Pablo, 1974; Pablo 2310-745; Original Jazz Classics OJC 822
This Grammy Award-winning 1975 encounter between two solid and subtle swingers backed by Louie Bellson (d) and John Heard (b) is a treasure among the voluminous individual Basie and Sims Pablo recordings.

Count Basie Jam Session at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1975
Pablo, 1975; Pablo 2310-750 (LP); PACD 2310 750 CD)
Basie swings with Roy Eldridge (tp), Johnny Griffin (ts), Milt Jackson (vib), and Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson (b). Again, Basie surprises with a mix of brilliant musicians from across decades of jazz history.

Basie Jam #2 and Basie Jam #3
Pablo, 1976
#2, Pablo 2310-786 (LP); Original Jazz Classics OJC-631 (CD)
#3, Pablo 2310-840 (LP); Original Jazz Classics OJC 687 (CD)
Basie is joined by Louie Bellson (d), Al Grey (tb), Joe Pass (el-g), John Heard (b), Benny Carter (as), Clark Terry (tp) and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (ts) for this May 1976 studio jam that yielded two hot albums.

Edison’s Lights
Pablo, 1976; Pablo 2310-780 (LP); Original Jazz Classics OJC-804 (CD)
Basie appears as sideman on this album featuring Basie veterans Harry Edison (t) and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (ts) and John Heard (b), and Jimmie Smith (d)

Prime Time
Pablo, 1977; Pablo 2310-797 (LP); Pablo 2310-797 (CD)
Prime Time, featuring eight new arrangements by Sammy Nestico, yielded the second of five Grammy Awards Basie would receive for his Pablo work.

Kansas City 5
Pablo, 1977; 2312-126 (LP); Original Jazz Classics OJC 888 (CD)
Basie anchors session with vibraphonist and Modern Jazz Quartet member Milt Jackson (vib), Joe Pass el-g), John Heard (b) and Louie Bellson (d).

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