Count Basie

~ Person


Pianist whose blues-based swing band, the Count Basie Orchestra, emerged from Kansas City in the 1930s to become one of the most important jazz bands of all time. Basie also made a few small-group recordings under the name Kansas City Seven.

Annotation last modified on 2007-10-23 11:15 UTC.


William James "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. 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. By 16 he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924 he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten's death in 1935.

That year Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie's theme songs were "One O'Clock Jump", developed in 1935 in the early days of his band, and later "April in Paris".

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1957 Basie Count Basie 4
1958 Basie Plays Hefti Count Basie 2
1958 Sing Along With Basie Joe Williams, Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross Plus The Basie Band 1
1959 Basie & Eckstine Incorporated Count Basie and Billy Eckstine 2
1959 Count Basie and His Orchestra Swings, Tony Bennett Sings Count Basie & Tony Bennett 2
1960 String Along With Basie Count Basie 1
1961 First Time! The Count Meets the Duke Duke Ellington & Count Basie 3
1962 Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First Frank Sinatra & Count Basie 3
1964 It Might as Well Be Swing Frank Sinatra & Count Basie 3
1966 Hollywood Basie's Way Count Basie and His Orchestra 1
1966 Inside Basie Outside Count Basie Orchestra 1
1968 Manufacturers of Soul Jackie Wilson & Count Basie 1
1974 The Bosses Count Basie & Joe Turner 2
1980 Kansas City Shout Count Basie 2
1981 Kansas City 6 Count Basie 2
1986 Bing 'n Basie Bing Crosby & Count Basie 1
1986 Get Together Count Basie 1
1986 Mostly Blues...and Some Others Count Basie 1
1986 Yessir, That's My Baby Count Basie, Oscar Peterson 1
1988 "Satch" and "Josh" Count Basie & Oscar Peterson 5
1988 Autumn in Paris Count Basie and his Orchestra 1
1988 Basie and Friends Count Basie 2
1989 Atomic Basie Count Basie 1
1989 Basie Boogie Count Basie 1
1989 Do You Wanna Jump...? Count Basie 1
1991 Our Shining Hour Sammy Davis Jr. & Count Basie 3
1991 Basie One More Time Count Basie 1
1991 Loose Walk Count Basie & Roy Eldridge 1
1992 + The Big Band - Vol.1 Milt Jackson & Count Basie 2
1992 Basie Jam #3 Count Basie 1
1992 Night Rider Count Basie & Oscar Peterson 1
1992 Basie's Basement Count Basie 1
1992 Jazztime Count Basie 1
1992 The Best of the Roulette Years Count Basie 1
1993 The Timekeepers Count Basie & Oscar Peterson 2
1993 Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings Count Basie & Joe Williams 1
1993 Big Bands: Count Basie Count Basie 1
1994 Basie's Bag Count Basie 1
1994 Cute Count Basie 2
1994 Listen... You Shall Hear Count Basie 1
1995 The Board of Directors Count Basie & The Mills Brothers 1
1996 + The Big Band - Vol.2 Milt Jackson & Count Basie 1
1996 Farmers Market Barbecue Count Basie 1
1996 Me and You Count Basie 1
1996 Count Basie & Sarah Vaughan Count Basie & Sarah Vaughan 1
1996 The Gifted Ones Count Basie & Dizzy Gillespie 1
1998 Satch & Josh... Again Count Basie & Oscar Peterson 1
1999 Afrique Count Basie 2
1999 One O'Clock Jump Ella Fitzgerald / Count Basie / Joe Williams 1
2000 April in Paris Count Basie 1

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