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Basie Set Due in September

Jazz fans on a budget may have to make a choice come September: Basie or Davis? Or, more correctly: swing or fusion? As we reported last month, Columbia/Legacy will drop a five-CD set chronicling the sessions that produced Miles Davis most-rocking effort, A Tribute to Jack Johnson, but the label revealed this week that September will also see the release a four-disc set of Columbia Records material by Count Basie. The music on these box sets couldn’t be more different. Davis was in full electric mode during the recording of Jack Johnson; while the tracks that make up America’s #1 Band are some of the earliest Basie band recordings, cut from 1936-1951-did they even have electricity back then?

The Basie set begins with four small-group cuts attributed to Jones-Smith, Inc., the band featuring trumpeter Carl “Tatti” Smith, saxophonist Lester Young, bassist Walter Page, drummer Jo Jones and pianist Basie-the band that laid the foundation for Basie groups to come. The first three CDs in the set take us through the evolving and revolving lineups Basie put together over time, introducing us to players like trumpeters Buck Clayton and Clark Terry, guitarist Freddie Green and vocalist Jimmy Rushing. Disc four might be the one that sells the set, however, as it contains radio broadcasts of live performances by Count Basie and His Ochestra that have never been released officially, save for two tracks made at a 1937 Savoy Ballroom date (“They Can’t Take That Away from Me” and “Swing, Brother, Swing”) and one caught at the Meadowbrook Lounge in 1939 (“I Can’t Get Started”).

Producer Orrin Keepnews oversaw production on the box set and contributes liner notes that explain his intentions and concerns in doing so. Meanwhile, saxophonist-educator-critic Loren Schoenberg’s liner notes comment extensively on the specific recordings, sometimes getting into musical nitty gritty.

Here’s a heavily annotated track list:

DISC I

THE SMALL GROUP RECORDINGS

JONES-SMITH, INC.: Carl “Tatti” Smith, trumpet; Lester Young, tenor saxophone; Count Basie, piano; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, drums. Vocals on “Evening” and “Boogie Woogie” by Jimmy Rushing. Recorded in Chicago; November 9, 1936.

1. SHOE SHINE BOY

(Master number C-1657-1 / originally issued on Vocalion 3441)

(Sammy Cahn-Saul Chaplin)

2. EVENIN’

(C-1658-1 / originally Voc 3441)

(Mitchell Parrish-Harry White)

3. BOOGIE WOOGIE (I May Be Wrong)

(C-1659-1 / Voc 3459)

(Count Basie-Jimmy Rushing)

4. OH, LADY BE GOOD

(C-1659 / Voc 3459)

(Ira & George Gershwin)

BASIE’S BAD BOYS: Buck Clayton, Shad Collins, trumpets; Dickie Wells, trombone (on “Going to Chicago” only); Lester Young, tenor saxophone; Count Basie, piano (on #5 and 8) or organ (on #6, 7); Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, drums. Vocal on “Going to Chicago” by Jimmy Rushing. Chicago; February 13, 1939. First issued in 1952, all on 10-inch LP CBS 66101.

5. I AIN’T GOT NOBODY

(24510-1)

(Roger Graham-Spencer Williams)

6. GOIN’ TO CHICAGO

(24511-1)

(Count Basie-Jimmy Rushing)

7. LIVE AND LOVE TONIGHT

(24512-1)

(Sam Coslow-Arthur Johnston)

8. LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME

(24513-1)

(Walter Donaldson-Gus Kahn)

COUNT BASIE KANSAS CITY SEVEN: Buck Clayton, trumpet; Dicky Wells, trombone; Lester Young, tenor saxophone; same rhythm section as on preceding session. New York City; September 5, 1939.

9. DICKIE’S DREAM

(W25296-4 / Voc 5118)

(Count Basie-Lester Young)

10. LESTER LEAPS IN

(W25297-2 / Voc 5118)

(Lester Young)

COUNT BASIE & HIS ALL-AMERICAN RHYTHM SECTION: Buck Clayton, trumpet, and Don Byas, tenor saxophone, appear on #12, 13, 14 and 18 only, with same rhythm section as on preceding session. New York City; July 24, 1942. [Unreleased for 2 ½ years during the American Federation of Musicians recording ban. All 8 selections first issued as a four-record 78 rpm album: Blues by Basie (Columbia C-101).]

11. HOW LONG BLUES

(HCO873-1)

(Leroy Carr-J. Mayo Williams)

12. ROYAL GARDEN BLUES

(HCO874-1)

(Clarence Williams-Spencer Williams)

13. BUGLE BLUES

(HCO875-1)

(Count Basie)

14. SUGAR BLUES

(HCO876-1)

(Lucy Fletcher-Clarence Williams)

15. FAREWELL BLUES

(HCO877-1)

(Paul Mares-Leon Rappolo-Elmer Schoebel)

16. CAFE SOCIETY BLUES

(HCO878-1)

(Count Basie)

17. WAY BACK BLUES

(HCO879-1)

(Count Basie)

18. ST. LOUIS BLUES

(HCO880-1)

(W. C. Handy)

COUNT BASIE OCTET: Clark Terry, trumpet; Buddy DeFranco, clarinet; Charlie Rouse, tenor saxophone; Serge Chaloff, baritone saxophone; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Jimmy Lewis, bass; Buddy Rich, drums. Arranged by Neal Hefti. New York City; May 16, 1950.

19. NEAL’S DEAL

(CO43261-1 / Columbia 39075)

(Neal Hefti-Count Basie)

20. BLUEBEARD BLUES

(CO43262-1 / Col 38888)

(Neal Hefti-Count Basie)

21. THE GOLDEN BULLET

(CO43263-1 / Col 38888)

(Count Basie-Milton Ebbins)

22. YOU’RE MY BABY, YOU

(CO43264-1 Col LP CBS 66102)

(Astor-Williams)

DISC 2

THE SMALL GROUP RECORDINGS (continued)

(Selections 1-8)

COUNT BASIE OCTET: Clark Terry, trumpet; Buddy DeFranco, clarinet; Wardell Gray, tenor saxophone; Rudy Rutherford, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Jimmy Lewis, bass; Gus Johnson, drums. New York City; November 2 (#1-4) and 3 (#5-8), 1950. (All eight selections were issued on 12-inch LP CBS 66102.)

1. SONG OF THE ISLANDS

(CO44594-1)

(C. King)

2. THESE FOOLISH THINGS REMIND ME OF YOU

(CO44595-1)

(Holt Marvell-Jack Strachey-Harry Link)

3. I’M CONFESSIN’

(CO44596-1)

(Don Dougherty-Al J. Neiburg- Elis Reynolds)

4. ONE O’CLOCK JUMP

(CO44597-1)

(Count Basie)

5. I AIN’T GOT NOBODY

(CO44606-1)

(Roger Graham-Spencer Williams)

6. LITTLE WHITE LIES

(CO44607-1)

(Walter Donaldson)

7. I’LL REMEMBER APRIL

(CO 44608-1)

(Don Raye-Gene DePaul-Patricia Johnston)

8. TOOTIE

(CO 44609-1)

(Count Basie)

Selections 9 to 23 on DISC II (and all of DISC III) are full-band

selections by COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Buck Clayton, Shad Collins, Harry Edison, Ed Lewis, trumpets; Dan Minor, Benny Morton, Dickie Wells, trombones; Earle Warren, alto saxophone; Lester Young, Buddy Tate, tenor saxophones; Jack Washington, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, drums. Vocal on “One Hour” by Helen Hume, arrangement by Buck Clayton. “Rock-a-Bye Basie” and “Taxi War Dance” are head arrangements. New York City; March 19, 1939.

9. ROCK-A-BYE BASIE

(W24239-1 / Voc 4747)

(Count Basie-Shad Collins-Lester Young)

10. ONE HOUR

(W24241-1 / Voc 4748)

(Henry Creamer-James P. Johnson)

11. TAXI WAR DANCE

(W24242-1 / Voc 4748)

(Count Basie-Lester Young)

Same personnel as preceding session. “Twelfth Street Rag” is a head arrangement; “Miss Thing” arranged by Skippy Martin). New York City;

April 5, 1939.

12. TWELFTH STREET RAG

(W24339-A / Voc 4886)

(Euday C. Bowman)

13. MISS THING, Part 1

(W24340 / Voc 4860)

(Count Basie-Skippy Martin)

14. MISS THING, Part 2

(W24341 / Voc 4860)

(Count Basie-Skippy Martin)

Same personnel as preceding session. Vocal on “Nobody Knows” by Jimmy Rushing. Both selections are head arrangements. Chicago; May 19, 1939

15. NOBODY KNOWS (Take 1)

(WC2596-A / Col LP CBS 66101)

(Count Basie-Jimmy Rushing)

(This take, initially rejected for poor recording quality, was

eventually released as part of a reissue LP. Take 3 had originally been issued as a 78 rpm single – Voc 5169)

16. POUND CAKE

(WC2597-C / Voc 5085)

(Count Basie-Harry Edison)

Same personnel. “Song of the Islands” probably arranged by Buck Clayton; “Clap Hands” by Skippy Martin. New York City; August 4, 1939.

17. SONG OF THE ISLANDS

(W24979-A / Voc 5169)

(C. King)

18. CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLIE

(W24981-A / Voc 5085)

(Ballard MacDonald-Joseph Meyer-Billy Rose)

Al Killian, trumpet, replaces Shad Collins; Vic Dickenson, trombone, replaces Benny Morton. All others same as on all sessions since March 19, 1939. Vocal on “Somebody Stole my Gal” by Jimmy Rushing. “Tickle Toe” and “Louisiana” both arranged by Andy Gibson, “Easy Does It”by Jimmy Mundy. New York City; March 19 (#19 and 20) and March 20 (#21 and 22), 1940.

19. TICKLE TOE

(Lester Young)

(WCO26656-1 / Col 35521)

20. LOUISIANA

(WCO26658-A / Col 35448)

(J.C. Johnson-Andy Razaf-Bob Schafer)

21. EASY DOES IT

(CO26659-A / Col 35448)

(Sy Oliver-Trummy Young)

On this selection, the last number recorded on this session, Jimmy Rushing is accompanied only by Harry Edison, trumpet; Jack Washington, baritone sax; and full rhythm section.

22. SOMEBODY STOLE MY GAL

(CO26662-A / Col 35500)

(Leo Wood)

Same full orchestra personnel as on preceding session Vocal by Jimmy

Rushing; arranged by Jimmy Mundy. Chicago; August 8, 1940.

23. I WANT A LITTLE GIRL

(WC3259-A / Okeh 5773)

(Murray Mencher-Billy Moll)

DISC 3

All selections on Disc III recorded by COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Buck Clayton, Al Killian, Harry Edison, Ed Lewis, trumpets; Dan Minor, Vic Dickenson, Dickie Wells, trombones; Earle Warren, alto saxophone; Lester Young, Buddy Tate, tenor saxophones; Jack Washington, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, drums.”Five O’Clock Whistle” arranged by Don Redman, “Broadway” by Henri Woode. New York City; November 19, 1940.

1. FIVE O’CLOCK WHISTLE

(CO29087-3 / Okeh 5922)

(Kim Gannon-Josef Myrow- Gene Irwin)

2. BROADWAY

(CO29090-1 / Okeh 6095)

(Henri Woode-Teddy McRae-Bill Bird)

Add Tab Smith, soprano and alto saxophones; Paul Bascomb, tenor sax, replaces Lester Young. All others same as preceding session. Vocal by Jimmy Rushing. New York City; December 13, 1940.

3. IT’S THE SAME OLD SOUTH

(CO29246-1 / Okeh 5963)

(Edward Eliscu-Jay Gorney)

Ed Cuffee, trombone, replaces Dickerson; Don Byas replaces Bascomb. All others same as preceding session. “Jump the Blues Away” arranged by Dudley Brooks; “The Jitters” arranged by Tab Smith. New York City; January 28, 1941

4. JUMP THE BLUES AWAY

(CO29581-1 / Okeh 6517)

(Ed Lewis)

5. THE JITTERS

(CO29583-1 / Okeh 6095)

(Tab Smith)

Add Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone, as a special guest on “9:20

Special”only. Others same as preceding session. Vocal on “Going to Chicago Blues” by Jimmy Rushing, arrangement by Buck Clayton. “9:20 Special” arranged by Buster Harding. Chicago; April 10, 1941

6. 9:20 SPECIAL

(C3678-1 / Okeh 6244)

(Buster Harding-Earle Warren)

7. GOIN’ TO CHICAGO BLUES

(C3681-1 / Okeh 6244)

(Count Basie-Jimmy Rushing)

Buck Clayton, Harry Edison, Al Killian, Ed Lewis, trumpets; Dicky Wells, Robert Scott, Eli Robinson, trombones; Tab Smith, soprano and alto saxophones; Earle Warren, alto saxophone; Buddy Tate, Don Byas, tenor saxophones; Jack Washington, baritone sax; the original Basie-Green-Page-Jones rhythm section. Vocal by Jimmy Rushing; arranged by Tab Smith. New York City; November 17, 1941.

8. HARVARD BLUES

CO31768-1 / Okeh 6564)

(Count Basie-Tab Smith-George Frazier*)

[*ASCAP incorrectly lists the writer as “Eddie” Frazier, but Boston jazz writer George Frazier was widely known to be the lyricist of this Basie selection] Same personnel as on preceding session. Arranged by Eddie Durham. New York City; January 21, 1942

9. ONE O’CLOCK JUMP

(CO32274-1/ Okeh 6634)

(Count Basie)

Caughey Roberts, alto saxophone, replaces Tab Smith; all others

same as preceding session. “It’s Sand Man” arranged by Buck Clayton, “Ain’t It the Truth” by Buster Harding. Los Angeles; July 27, 1942.

10. IT’S SAND, MAN

(HCO892-1 / Col 36647)

(Edward Lewis)

11. AIN’T IT THE TRUTH

(HCO893-1 / Col 36845)

(Count Basie-Buster Harding-Jack Palmer)

Harry Edison, Al Killian, Joe Newman, Al Stearns, trumpets; Dicky

Wells, Ted Donnelly, Eli Robinson, Louis Taylor, trombones; Earle Warren, Jimmy Powell, alto saxophones; Buddy Tate, Lucky Thompson, tenor saxophones; Rudy Rutherford, clarinet and baritone saxophones; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Rodney Richardson, bass; Shadow Wilson, drums. Arranged by Buck Clayton. New York City; December 6, 1944.

12. TAPS MILLER

(CO93553-1 / Col 36831)

(Count Basie-Bob Russell)

Ed Lewis, trumpet, returns, replacing Al Stearns; all others same as preceding session. Arranged by Buck Clayton. New York City; February 26, 1945.

13. AVENUE C

(CO34352-1 / ColDF-3468)

(Buck Clayton)

Emmett Berry, Snooky Young, Harry Edison, Ed Lewis, trumpets; Dicky Wells, Ted Donnelly, Eli Robinson, J. J. Johnson, trombones; George Dorsey, Preston Love, alto saxophones, Illinois Jacquet, Buddy Tate, tenor saxophones; Rudy Rutherford, clarinet and baritone saxophone; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Rodney Richardson, bass; Shadow Wilson, drums. Vocal on “Blue Skies” by Jimmy Rushing. Arrangements by Jimmy Mundy. Los Angeles; October 9, 1945.

14. BLUE SKIES

(HCO1563-1 / Col 37070)

(Irving Berlin)

15. QUEER STREEET

(HCO1566-1 / Col 36889)

(Buck Clayton)

Joe Newman, trumpet, returns, replacing Snooky Young, trumpet; George Matthews, trombone, replaces Dicky Wells; Jimmy Powell, alto saxophone, returns, replacing George Dorsey; Jo Jones, drums, returns, replacing Shadow Wilson. All others same as preceding session. Vocal on “Lazy Lady” by Jimmy Rushing; this is probably a head arrangement. “Rambo” arranged by J.J. Johnson; “The King” probably arranged by Illinois Jacquet. New York City; February 4, 1946.

16. LAZY LADY BLUES

(CO35730-1 / Col 36990)

(Leonard Feather-Ann Moore)

17. RAMBO

(CO35731-1 / Col BF-115)

(Count Basie-J. J. Johnson)

18. THE KING

(CO3573-1 / Col 37070)

(Count Basie)

Emmett Berry, Harry Edison, Ed Lewis, Joe Newman, Snooky Young, trumpets; J. J. Johnson, Ted Donnelly, George Matthews, Eli Robinson, trombones; Rudy Rutherford, clarinet and alto saxophone; Preston Love, alto saxophone; Buddy Tate, Illinois Jacquet, tenor saxophones; Jack Washington, baritone saxophone; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, drums. “Hob Nail Boogie” arranged by Buster Harding, “Mutton Leg” by Harry Edison, “Stay on It” by Tadd Dameron. New York City; July 31, 1946.

19. HOB NAIL BOOGIE

(CO36702-1 / Col DF-3468)

(Buster Harding)

20. MUTTON LEG

(CO36704-1 / Col 37093)

(Count Basie-Harry Sweets Edison)

21. STAY ON IT

(*CO36704-3 / 12″ LP CBS 66102)

(Dizzy Gillespie-Tadd Dameron) BVC

[*No master number was assigned to this selection, but the actual

acetate master of this, its only recorded take, was incorrectly

inscribed with this number.]

Bob Mitchell, Al Porcino, Clark Terry, Lamar Wright, trumpets; Leon

Comegys, Matthew Gee, Booty Wood, trombones; Marshall Royal, Rubin

Phillips, alto saxophones; Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson, tenor saxophones; Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax; Jimmy Lewis, bass; Gus Johnson, drums. “Little Pony” arranged by Neal Hefti; “Beaver Junction” by Buster Harding. New York City; April 10, 1951.

22. LITTLE PONY

(CO45658-1) / Col39406)

(Neal Hefti)

23. BEAVER JUNCTION

(Col 39406)

(Harry Sweets Edison)

DISC 4

All selections on Disc IV originated as radio broadcasts of live performances by COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA. Except for selections

11-13, as indicated, there has been no previous authorized release of any of this material.

At the FAMOUS DOOR: Buck Clayton, Shad Collins, Harry Edison, Ed Lewis, trumpets; Dan Minor, Benny Morton, Dickie Wells, trombones; Earle Warren, alto saxophone; Buddy Tate, Lester Young, tenor saxophones; Jack Washington, baritone saxophone; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, bass. Vocals on “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” and “White Sails” by Helen Humes; vocal on “Boogie Woogie Blues,” by Jimmy Rushing. Arrangements on “Swingin’ the Blues” and “Time Out” by Eddie Durham; on “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” by Andy Gibson; on “Clap Hands” by Skippy Martin. “Rock-a-Bye Basie” and “Boogie Woogie Blues” are head arrangements, and “Roseland Shuffle” is partly a head and also in part adapted from a Fletcher Henderson chart. New York City; July 15, 1939.

*1. ONE O’CLOCK JUMP

(Count Basie)

*2. SWINGIN’ THE BLUES

(Count Basie-Eddie Durham)

*3. ROCK-A-BYE BASIE

(Count Basie-Shad Collins-Lester Young)

*4. DON’T WORRY ‘BOUT ME

(Ted Koehler-Rube Bloom)

*5. TIME OUT

(Edgar Battle-Eddie Durham)

*6. BOOGIE WOOGIE BLUES

(Clarence Smith)

*7. ROSELAND SHUFFLE

(Count Basie) BVC

*8. WHITE SAILS

(Nick Kenny-Charles Kenny-Harry Archer)

*9. CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLIE

(Ballard MacDonald-Joseph Meyer-Billy Rose)

*10. ONE O’CLOCK JUMP

(Count Basie)

At the SAVOY BALLROOM: Buck Clayton, Bobby Moore, Ed Lewis, trumpets; Dan Minor, George Hunt, trombones; Earle Warren, alto saxophone; Lester Young, Herschel Evans, tenor saxophones; Jack Washington, baritone saxophones; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, drums. Vocals by Billie Holiday. “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” arranged by Buck Clayton. New York City; June 30, 1937.

11. THEY CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME

(Ira & George Gershwin)

12. SWING, BROTHER, SWING

(Walter Bishop-Lewis Raymond-Clarence Williams)

At the MEADOWBROOK LOUNGE: Trombones are Minor, Eddie Durham, and Benny Morton; all other personnel the same as for preceding broadcast. Vocal by Billie Holiday. Arranged by Buck Clayton. Cedar Grove, New Jersey; November 3, 1937.

13. I CAN’T GET STARTED

(Ira Gershwin-Vernon Duke)

The above three performances featuring Billie Holiday were

originally released in 1964 on Columbia album C3L 21.

At the PANTHER ROOM: Buck Clayton, Shad Collins, Ed Lewis, Harry Edison, trumpets; Dan Minor, Benny Morton, Dicky Wells, trombones; Earle Warren, alto saxophone; Lester Young, Buddy Tate, tenor saxophones; Jack Washington, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, drums. Head arrangement. Hotel Sherman, Chicago; June 5, 1939.

*14. MOTEN SWING

(Bennie and Bus Moten)

At the SOUTHLAND THEATRE RESTAURANT: Al Killian, trumpet, replaces Collins; Vic Dickenson, trombone, replaces Morton; all other personnel the same as preceding broadcast Vocal on “Darn That Dream” by Helen Humes. “Ebony Rhapsody” arranged by Don Redman. “Take It, Pres” is a head arrangement. Vocal on “Baby, Don’t Tell on Me” by Jimmy Rushing, arrangement by Eddie Durham. Boston; February 20, 1940.

*15. EBONY RHAPSODY (Sam Coslow-Arthur Johnston-Franz Lizst)

*16. DARN THAT DREAM

(Eddie DeLange-Jimmy Van Heusen)

*17. TAKE IT, PRES

[improvised instrumental – no composer credit]

*18. BABY, DON’T TELL ON ME

(Count Basie-Lester Young-Jimmy Rushing)

*19. I GOT RHYTHM

(George & Ira Gershwin)

At CAFE SOCIETY UPTOWN: Buck Clayton, Harry Edison, Al Killian, Ed Lewis, trumpets; Dicky Wells, Eli Robinson, Robert Scott, trombones; Tab Smith, soprano and alto saxophones; Earle Warren, alto saxophone; Don Byas, Buddy Tate, tenor saxophones; Jack Washington, baritone saxophone; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Walter Page, bass; Jo Jones, drums. “9:20 Special” arranged by Buster Harding; “Jumpin’ at the Woodside is a head arrangement. New York City; September 20 (“9:20 Special”), October 10 (“Elmer’s Tune”) and September 29 (“Jumpin at the Woodside”), 1941.

*20. 9:20 SPECIAL

(Buster Harding- Earle Warren)

*21. ELMER’S TUNE

(Dick Jurgens-Elmer Albrecht-Sammy Gallop)

*22. JUMPIN’ AT THE WOODSIDE

(Count Basie)

*PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Originally Published