Count Basie

Greatest Hits [RCA]

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There are actually no "hits" on this reissue from Count Basie, part of RCA Victor's erratic introduction to jazz program that resulted in ten CDs in 1996. Basie was only with Victor during 1947-50 and, although his band still swung, it was falling on hard times financially. Due to the complete lack of personnel given to these 15 recordings, purchasers will probably not realize that the main soloists are trumpeters Harry "Sweets" Edison and Emmett Berry, tenors Buddy Tate and Paul Gonsalves. The music is consistently excellent, late-period swing with the slight influence of bop and a rare small-group side ("If You See My Baby") from 1950. The recordings are available in more complete form elsewhere but this is a good sampling of Basie's Victor period.

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