Count Basie


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Related to Count Basie: Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman

Basie, Count

(William Basie) (bā`sē), 1904–84, American jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer, b. Red Bank, N.J. After working in dance halls and vaudeville in New York City, Basie moved to Kansas City, a major jazz center. There he joined Walter Page's Blue Devils in 1927, moving to Bennie Morton's band in 1929. He formed his own band in 1935, and for 40 years it has produced a distinctive sound marked by a powerful yet relaxed attack. Basie's provocative piano style is characterized by a predominant right hand. Among the many pieces he has composed for his band is "One O'Clock Jump."

Basie, (William) Count

(1904–84) jazz musician; born in Red Bank, N.J. He received his first piano lessons at age six from his mother and worked as an accompanist to silent films while still in high school. He studied organ informally with Fats Waller, whom he replaced in a New York vaudeville act called Katie Crippin and Her Kids. Between 1924–27, he toured on the Keith Circuit with the Gonzelle White vaudeville show until it got stranded in Kansas City, then a bustling center of jazz and blues activity. He played piano at a silent movie theater there, then spent a year with Walter Page's Blue Devils in 1928–29. When this band broke up, he began a five-year association with Benny Moten's orchestra, whose sidemen included blues singer Jimmy Rushing, trumpeter Hot Lips Page, and Lester Young, the highly innovative tenor saxophonist. Upon Moten's death in 1935, these musicians formed the nucleus of Basie's first band. Under his leadership they broadcast from the Reno Club in Kansas City, where a radio announcer dubbed him "Count"; through these broadcasts, he attracted the attention of the well-connected talent scout John Hammond, who set up his first tour. The band played a residency at the Grand Terrace in Chicago, then opened at the Roseland in New York in December 1936. Basie began a prolific series of recordings the following year, and in 1938 he played a long residency at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, where his reputation as leader of one of the premier swing bands was firmly established. He led his band on a continual series of U.S. tours throughout the 1940s, but in 1950 economic conditions compelled him to disband and front a sextet for two years. He formed a new 16-piece band in 1952 and began a long association with producer Norman Granz of Verve Records; this outfit established a new and enduring prototype for big bands and radio and television studio orchestras. In 1954, the band undertook the first of its many European tours. During the 1960s, the Basie orchestra accompanied various singers, including Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, and Sammy Davis Jr., on recordings and concert tours. He made numerous appearances with all-star groups in the 1970s, but maintained a regular touring schedule with his band until his death. His autobiography, Good Morning Blues, written with Albert Murray, was published posthumously in 1985.
References in periodicals archive ?
It should have read the Count Basie Orchestra and Charlie Parker Band.
Murray, first, takes a step back from his own work on Count Basie to examine the autobiographical form as historical documentation, a theme that continues in the work as Murray gives us biographical sketches on each artist.
Jazz musicians such as Art Tatum, Count Basie, Joe Jones, Lester Young - they all wanted to play their instruments the way she sang.
On April 19, 2015, the Count Basie Theatre will proudly host the daylong PROJECT FX Festival , which will include workshops with film industry professionals, plus a showcase of the top vote getters in both the high school and college categories C with the winning film acting as an "opener" for a Basie screening of an upcoming Sony Pictures Classics release.
The music takes the tradition of the big bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Thad Jones and infuses it with the funk of greats such as Parliament Funkadelic, The Crusaders, The Meters and James Brown & the JB's.
There is nothing wrong with nostalgia, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Harry James will rank with Bach and Beethoven.
The show features the music of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Billy May, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.
Dream lucky; when FDR was in the White House, Count Basie was on the radio, and everyone wore a hat.
They play everything from Glenn Miller to Count Basie.
There the famous Syd Lawrence Orchestra (best big band for a number of years) will be holding forth with the music of Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald and other giants from the big band era as well as tunes from perhaps Robbie Williams and Westlife.
The four-disc ``The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records'' offers choice cuts from 1961 to '76 from the likes of Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus and, of course, John Coltrane.
Every show includes a mixture of swing, dance and jazz music with a repertoire of more than 1,200 classical and traditional Big Band titles from such artists as Glenn Miller Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Ray Anthony, Harry James, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington.