Jazz Appreciation Month: Count Basie

William “Count” Basie added a fresh and new sound to the Swing scene just as it was getting stale. His piano technique tended to be to offer in fill in pieces to add to the atmosphere as a whole. To add vocal refrains to the music he favoured a more bluesy orientation and hired singers such as Joe Williams and Jimmy Rushing. One of the most notable soloists in the Basie band ranks was tenor saxophonist Lester Young.

Basie would go on to provide backing for Frank Sinatra on several occasions.

After the swing era Basie downsized to a little as the costs of running a big band was getting too much, but still offered recordings with a real punch thanks to arrangers such as Neal Hefti.

One of his most famous albums was “April in Paris” and the spectacular titular opening track showcases a series of false endings.

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