Count Basie

Fresno, California April 24, 1959

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The Count Basie Orchestra is heard on this set playing live in Fresno in 1959 during the peak of their "atomic period." The purely instrumental set (released for the first time on this 1993 CD) features such fine soloists as trumpeters Thad Jones and Joe Newman, trombonist Al Grey, altoist-flutist Frank Wess and the tenors of Frank Foster and Billy Mitchell. However, it is the arrangements by Neal Hefti, Foster, Jones and Quincy Jones that gave the band its personality. Most of the selections were recorded by the Basie Orchestra at other times, but these spirited versions, with their very different solos, will be savored by Basie's fans. Highlights include "A Little Tempo Please," "Whirly-Bird," "Jessica's Day" and "Corner Pocket."

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