12/16/13 By Ken V
The Count Basie orchestra plays Yoshi’s for a holiday treat like no other!
Two Shows December 20-21 allow San Francisco to party with the greatest swing band touring today
There is an unusual treat coming for San Francisco jazz music fans, that is seeing and hearing the world’s greatest touring swing group, The Count Basie Orchestra, live, in person and up-close, at Yoshi’s San Francisco. The performances will take place on December 20-21 just before the holiday break. William James “Count” Basie was born in 1904 and began playing professionally with the Benny Moten band and in 1935 formed his own orchestra. His early years in Kansas City were critical to the development of the “Moten Swing” style which had a large impact on the development of a danceable jazz and the amazing success of the big bands to follow.
Yoshi’s has to be one of the best rooms in the world to hear the band. With fantastic site lines, an amazing sound system, and an audience that will be extremely knowledgeable about the band and its hits. Trumpeter Scott Barnhart, who is the current director of the band and a professor of jazz trumpet at Florida State University, discussed the work that musicians have to do to create the Basie sounds. “It is a process that they have to go through that is unique to this band. And the bass player is critical to our sound in so many ways. A lot of listeners over look this, but how the bass sets up our rhythm and establishes it is one of the most important aspects of the “Basie swing.”
The band will feature the vocalist Chris Morrell, who is steeped in the tradition of the great Basie vocalists, Joe Williams, and singing star Billie Eckstein. Whether it is the holiday songs, the Basie chestnuts, or the sound of a rhythm section that swings like no other, these should be special nights for everyone that loves the most recognizable big band sound in the world.
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