Basie’s own Me and You dates from 1983, the year before he died. Although his piannying is restrained, even a little delicate, this is still the New Testament Band in Prime Time (to quote Chris Sheridan). The first of three Ernie Wilkins arrangements, “Moten Swing,” opens lazily, deceptively, before building to a shouting climax. Eric Dixon’s tenor is heard to advantage on this, Chris Woods’ alto on the following “Right On” and “Me and You.” These two players show up, too, on three diversionary tracks by an octet, “Crisp,” “Bridge Work” and “She’s Funny That Way.” The last is a showcase for trombonist Booty Wood, who proves that melody phrased right is not something to be ashamed of.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.