Count Basie

Live in Antibes (1968)

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The late-'60s Count Basie Band, featuring the frenetic, surging tenor sax of Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, is spotlighted on this 17-cut LP, part of a series issued by the French Esoldun label and available as imports. The band sticks to its predictable pattern of alternating midtempo and fast-paced numbers, blues and vocal change-of-pace items, plus slower treatments, all done in a relaxed, highly professional fashion. The menu includes "Going to Chicago Blues," "In a Mellow Tone," "Lil' Darlin," "Stormy Monday Blues," and "Cherokee," as well as the expected closer "Jumping at the Woodside." The arrangements, ensemble interaction, and general performances were good, if not exceptional, and Basie's customary sparse piano licks were timely and right in the groove.

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