This is the first of two Laserlight CDs documenting Count Basie's orchestra, sometime in the late '50s, playing before a live audience. Even with the presence of "Corner Pocket," "Cutell, " and "Li'l Darling, " the repertoire is pretty fresh, with baritonist Charlie Fowlkes having a rare feature on "Spring Is Here, " altoist Marshall Royal getting a few spots and Snooky Young leading the powerful rhythm section. Add trombonist Al Grey and tenor-saxophonist Billy Mitchell to the other strong soloists of the period and one has a very enjoyable and swinging set of Basie music. The playing time is a bit brief but Laserlight is a very moderately priced label and the music on this CD is superior.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow