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In 1950, he headlined the Universal-International short film "Sugar Chile" Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and His Sextet. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. Discography of American Historical Recordings, The Greatest!! His personnel around 1937 included: Lester Young and Herschel Evans (tenor sax), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums), Walter Page (bass), Earle Warren (alto sax), Buck Clayton and Harry Edison (trumpet), Benny Morton and Dickie Wells (trombone). [73], On April 11, 1983, Catherine Basie died of heart disease at the couple's home in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. [21] In addition to playing piano, Basie was co-arranger with Eddie Durham, who notated the music. [46], The publicity over the big band battle, before and after, gave the Basie band a boost and wider recognition. During the interview Count Basie mentions that one of the modern artists he respects the most is Dave Brubeck. Count Basie, like most of the bandleaders who had lived through the glory days of the swing era, had to confront some harsh realities as the 1950s began. [65], In 1958, the band made its first European tour. Basie studied music with his mother and was later influenced by the Harlem pianists James P. Johnson and Fats Waller, receiving informal tutelage on Neal Hefti began to provide arrangements, notably "Lil Darlin'". [31] Hammond had heard Basie's band by radio and went to Kansas City to check them out. Their "Moten Swing", which Basie claimed credit for,[23] was widely acclaimed and was an invaluable contribution to the development of swing music, and at one performance at the Pearl Theatre in Philadelphia in December 1932, the theatre opened its door to allow anybody in who wanted to hear the band perform. Image of Wayne King, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Bill Elliot at Big Band Festival at Disneyland, Anaheim, 1964. William James (August 21, 1904 - April 26, 1984), known as Count Basie, was a jazz pianist, but also an organist and composer. Count Basie Browse our 5 arrangements of "One O'Clock Jump." Some time around 1964, Basie adopted his trademark yachting cap.[71]. Their only child, Diane, was born February 6, 1944. Those four sides were released on Vocalion Records under the band name of Jones-Smith Incorporated; the sides were "Shoe Shine Boy", "Evening", "Boogie Woogie", and "Lady Be Good". Basie recalled a review, which said something like, "We caught the great Count Basie band which is supposed to be so hot he was going to come in here and set the Roseland on fire. [18] A few months later, he was invited to join the band, which played mostly in Texas and Oklahoma. [58] They played to a crowd of 15,000. Count Basie and His Orchestra: 2:47: 22: Don't Worry About Me. Count Basie Jazz pianist William "Count" Basie is an American jazz pianist, organist and jazz orchestra conductor. By then, Basie was playing with pick-up groups for dances, resorts, and amateur shows, including Harry Richardson's "Kings of Syncopation". Lester Willis Young (August 27, 1909 – March 15, 1959), nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist.. Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie's orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument. One O'Clock Jump. A towering figure in big-band jazz, with a lean piano style and a gift for setting tempos and making a rhythm section swing. Hammond introduced Helen Humes, whom Basie hired; she stayed with Basie for four years. Later that year, Basie appeared on a television special with Fred Astaire, featuring a dance solo to "Sweet Georgia Brown", followed in January 1961 by Basie performing at one of the five John F. Kennedy Inaugural Balls. August 21, 2018. He also scored a series of Top Ten hits on the pop and R&B charts, including "I Didn't Know About You" (pop, winter 1945); "Red Bank Blues" (R&B, winter 1945); "Rusty Dusty Blues" (R&B, spring 1945); "Jimmy's Blues" (pop and R&B, summer/fall 1945); and "Blue Skies" (pop, summer 1946). [22] [86], By 2011, four recordings of Count Basie had been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance.". Basie then formed his own nine-piece band, Barons of Rhythm, with many former Moten members including Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums), Lester Young (tenor saxophone) and Jimmy Rushing (vocals). Oscar Peterson & Count Basie (piano)Niels Pedersen (bass)Martin Drew (drums)from bbc television By the end of the 1960s, Basie had returned to more of a jazz format. In 2009, Basie was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[89]. As a pianist, he had a distinctive and influential style (the song title "Splanky" is an onomatopoetic reference to the sound of his playing), equally … [11] Soon, Basie met many of the Harlem musicians who were "making the scene," including Willie "the Lion" Smith and James P. Johnson. The tune became the band's theme song and it was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. He suffered a heart attack in 1976 that put him out of commission for several months. Undergoing expansion and personnel changes, it returned to Chicago, then to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston. The Count Basie Orchestra, today directed by Scotty Barnhart, has won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, won 18 Grammy Awards, performed for Kings, Queens, and other world Royalty, appeared in several movies, television shows, at every major jazz festival and major concert hall in the world. [42] The band's first appearance at the Apollo Theater followed, with the vocalists Holiday and Jimmy Rushing getting the most attention. The place catered to "uptown celebrities," and typically the band winged every number without sheet music using "head arrangements. He spent the early '40s touring extensively, but after the U.S. entry into World War II in December 1941 and the onset of the recording ban in August 1942, his travel was restricted. [54] They also continued to record for OKeh Records and Columbia Records. False 8. It was at this time that he began to be known as "Count" Basie (see Jazz royalty).[19]. Basie had Holiday, and Webb countered with the singer Ella Fitzgerald. [14] Before he was 20 years old, he toured extensively on the Keith and TOBA vaudeville circuits as a solo pianist, accompanist, and music director for blues singers, dancers, and comedians. In 2005, Count Basie's song "One O'Clock Jump" (1937) was included by the National Recording Preservation Board in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. After automobiles replaced horses, his father became a groundskeeper and handyman for several wealthy families in the area. He said that Norman Granz got them into the Birdland club and promoted the new band through recordings on the Mercury, Clef, and Verve labels. [90] The board selects songs in an annual basis that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Some time in or before 1935, the now single Basie returned to New York City, renting a house at 111 West 138th Street, Manhattan, as evidenced by the 1940 census. [55] The war years caused a lot of members turn over, and the band worked many play dates with lower pay. Undismayed by Chick's forceful drum beating, which sent the audience into shouts of encouragement and appreciation and casual beads of perspiration to drop from Chick's brow onto the brass cymbals, the Count maintained an attitude of poise and self-assurance. While on the West Coast, he and the band appeared in five films, all released within a matter of months in 1943: Hit Parade of 1943, Reveille with Beverly, Stage Door Canteen, Top Man, and Crazy House. These hits made what Albert Murray (co-author of Basie's autobiography, Good Morning Blues) called the "new testament" edition of the Basie band a major success. She was born with cerebral palsy and the doctors claimed she would never walk. [38] Compared to the reigning band of Fletcher Henderson, Basie's band lacked polish and presentation. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. As with "Willow Weep for Me" (SCCJ II/13), the "A" section of the AABA form sounds deceptively like a blues (because the harmony moves to IV in the fifth bar).32-bar AABA: Members: Buck Clayton, Count Basie, Don Byas, Freddie Green, Jo Jones, Walter Page. This provided an early training that was to prove significant in his later career. He reformed his group as a 16-piece orchestra in 1952. It was released by Roulette Records, then later reissued by Capitol Records. The relation of Count Basie with the Rhythm Section trio lasted estimated from 1934 to 1948. Switching to RCA Victor Records, he topped the charts in February 1947 with "Open the Door, Richard!," followed by three more Top Ten pop hits in 1947: "Free Eats," "One O'Clock Boogie," and "I Ain't Mad at You (You Ain't Mad at Me).". With the exception of a brief period in the early '50s, he led a big band from 1935 until his death almost 50 years later, and the band continued to perform after he died. Basie toured in several acts between 1925 and 1927, including Katie Krippen and Her Kiddies (featuring singer Katie Crippen) as part of the Hippity Hop show; on the Keith, the Columbia Burlesque, and the Theater Owners Bookers Association (T.O.B.A.) An important addition to the band in late 1954 was vocalist Joe Williams. A towering figure in big-band jazz, with a lean piano style and a gift for setting tempos and making a rhythm section swing. Basie made a few more movie appearances, such as in the Jerry Lewis film Cinderfella (1960) and the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles (1974), playing a revised arrangement of "April in Paris". Well, the Roseland is still standing". It made its recording debut on Decca Records in January 1937. Basie had been a member of a band led by pianist Benny Moten for several years. "April in Paris" (arrangement by Wild Bill Davis) was a best-selling instrumental and the title song for the hit album. [74], Count Basie died of pancreatic cancer in Hollywood, Florida on April 26, 1984 at the age of 79.[1]. [76] In 1968 Basie and his Band recorded an album with Jackie Wilson titled Manufacturers of Soul. Count Basie and his Orchestra played at the tenth Cavalcade of Jazz concert also at Wrigley Field on June 20, 1954. vaudeville circuits; and as a soloist and accompanist to blues singer Gonzelle White as well as Crippen. Shop and Buy Count Basie - Volume 17 sheet music. Count Basie, Soundtrack: Pearl Harbor. He played the vaudeville, before he formed his big band and contributed to the creation of a swing. Their fame took a huge leap. Box Office Temporarily Closed email: boxoffice@thebasie.org Box office closes 30 minutes after all shows. He called Basie "Holy Man", "Holy Main", and just plain "Holy".[36]. Basie's health gradually deteriorated during the last eight years of his life. [63] Down Beat magazine reported, "(Basie) has managed to assemble an ensemble that can thrill both the listener who remembers 1938 and the youngster who has never before heard a big band like this. a. They were divorced sometime before 1935. [61] Basie also added flute to some numbers, a novelty at the time that became widely copied. During a stay in Chicago, Basie recorded with the band. Basie's orchestra was characterized by a light, swinging rhythm section that he led from the piano, lively ensemble work, and generous soloing. Jazz was especially appreciated in France, The Netherlands, and Germany in the 1950s; these countries were the stomping grounds for many expatriate American jazz stars who were either resurrecting their careers or sitting out the years of racial divide in the United States. Find Count Basie bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic - A towering figure in big-band jazz, with a lean… On the West Coast, in 1942 the band did a spot in Reveille With Beverly, a musical film starring Ann Miller, and a "Command Performance" for Armed Forces Radio, with Hollywood stars Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Carmen Miranda, Jerry Colonna, and the singer Dinah Shore. From 1929–1932, Basie was part of Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra: In 1958, Basie became the first African-American to win a Grammy Award. Many other bands later adapted the split tenor arrangement. a. Video: Count Basie at Birdland. 14–15. He quickly learned to improvise music appropriate to the acts and the silent movies. Early after his arrival, he bumped into Sonny Greer, who was by then the drummer for the Washingtonians, Duke Ellington's early band. "[64] In 1957, Basie sued the jazz venue Ball and Chain in Miami over outstanding fees, causing the closure of the venue. [15], Back in Harlem in 1925, Basie gained his first steady job at Leroy's, a place known for its piano players and its "cutting contests." When the band voted Moten out, Basie took over for several months, calling the group "Count Basie and his Cherry Blossoms. The couple kept her and cared deeply for her, and especially through her mother's tutelage Diane learned not only to walk but to swim. On July 21, 1930, Basie married Vivian Lee Winn, in Kansas City, Missouri. Basie was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. [70], During the balance of the 1960s, the band kept busy with tours, recordings, television appearances, festivals, Las Vegas shows, and travel abroad, including cruises. Basie's new band which included many Moten alumni, with the important addition of tenor player Lester Young. [28], At the end of 1936, Basie and his band, now billed as "Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm," moved from Kansas City to Chicago, where they honed their repertoire at a long engagement at the Grand Terrace Ballroom. He finished junior high school[7] but spent much of his time at the Palace Theater in Red Bank, where doing occasional chores gained him free admission to performances. Jimmy Rushing became the singer. January 30, 2018. Basie's new band was more of an ensemble group, with fewer solo turns, and relying less on "head" and more on written arrangements. His album Standing Ovation earned a 1969 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Large Group or Soloist with Large Group (Eight or More), and in 1970, with Oliver Nelson as arranger/conductor, he recorded Afrique, an experimental, avant-garde album that earned a 1971 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band. The following year, in 1929, Basie became the pianist with the Bennie Moten band based in Kansas City, inspired by Moten's ambition to raise his band to the level of Duke Ellington's or Fletcher Henderson's. Count Basie was among the most important bandleaders of the swing era. Count Basie was among the most important bandleaders of the swing era. April 08, 2017. His father worked as a coachman and caretaker for a wealthy judge. In addition to Quincy Jones, Basie was using arrangers such as Benny Carter (Kansas City Suite), Neal Hefti (The Atomic Mr Basie), and Sammy Nestico (Basie-Straight Ahead). Their albums together included In Person and Strike Up the Band. Jones also arranged and conducted 1966's live Sinatra at the Sands which featured Sinatra with Count Basie and his orchestra at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. What instrument did Count Basie play? [5][6], The best student in school, Basie dreamed of a traveling life, inspired by touring carnivals which came to town. When Moten died, the band tried to stay together but couldn't make a go of it. When Young complained of Herschel Evans' vibrato, Basie placed them on either side of the alto players, and soon had the tenor players engaged in "duels". None of these albums attracted much commercial attention, however, and in 1962, Basie switched to Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records in a bid to sell more records. With the New Testament Basie band in full swing, and arrangements written by a youthful Quincy Jones, this album proved a swinging respite from her Songbook recordings and constant touring she did during this period. In May 1970, Sinatra performed in London's Royal Festival Hall with the Basie orchestra, in a charity benefit for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. September 28, 2017. Piano. Many former members of the Moten band joined this nine-piece outfit, among them Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums), and Lester Young (tenor saxophone). 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