Count Basie Live at the
Sands (before Frank)
1998 Reprise Records
SQ Issue: Fall 2005, Volume 15, Issue 4
The Band: Al Aarons, George Sunny Cohn, Wallace Davenport, Phil Guilbeau (Trumpets); Henderson Chambers, Al Grey, Grover Mitchell (Trombones); Bill Hughes (Bass Trombone); Marshall Royal (Clarinet/Alto Sax); Bobby Plater (Flute/Tenor Sax); Eddie Lockjaw Davis (Tenor Sax); Charlie Fowlkes (Flute/Baritone Sax); William Count Basie (Piano); Freddie Green (Guitar); Norman Keenan (Bass); Percival Sonny Payne (Drums)
There have been buried treasures of all kinds, ranging from the profound to the peripheral You can now add to that list these performances of the Count Basie Band. --- Loren Schoenberg, liner notes.
One thing I like about the Sinatra at the Sands CD is that it combines one of the greatest singers in the world with one of the greatest bands in the world. Plus, it mixes in a little Vegas along with it. Thankfully, what happens in Vegas doesnt always stay in Vegas. And when I heard Sinatra at the Sands I lamented on the fact that it wasnt enough.
Well, much to my surprise (maybe not yours), I happened upon Count Basie Live at the Sands (before Frank). The music on this CD was recorded at the same shows as Sinatra at the Sands and was considered the warm up before the Chairman of the Board made his entrance.
All I can say is WOW! There is not and probably never will be another Count Basie (as close as Ive heard would be Rick Carlson in the Twin Cities, MN). This CD is a superb sampling of the Basie genius at work. Plus, it is chock full of fantastic dance tunes. Songs range from slow (78 bpm) to burnin (309 bpm). It includes many of the recognizable Basie tunes like Splanky, Corner Pocket, One OClock Jump and Jumpin at the Woodside.
The musicianship is top shelf. They are tight, swingin and smokin. They fly like all get out on Whirly Bird, a great tune for Balboa at 309 bpm. They are just as brilliant on the ballad Makin Whoopee.
This CD, recorded January 26-29 and February 1, 1966 in the Copa Room of the Sands Hotel in Vegas, is a must have for any music collector. Whether you collect music to dance or just love jazz, this CD fits the bill and should be in your library if it isnt already!
Bottom Line: To buy or not to buy .. BUY! Heres how: http://www.tcswing.com/suggested.htm.