Count Basie

One O'Clock Jump

Composed by Count Basie

Song Review by

If there was a single number that big band musicians and fans alike considered virtually an anthem for the swing era, it was "One O'Clock Jump" by Count Basie & His Orchestra. The composition, usually done as an instrumental, embodied everything that was striking about the big jazz-based orchestras that called the tune in popular music in the second half of the 1930s: Basie's spare yet deceptively complex introduction on the piano, accompanied by guitar and drums, is a lead-in for the tenor sax (Herschel Evans), trombone (George Hunt), another tenor (Lester Young), and a trumpet (Buck Clayton), which brings in the whole reed section backed by the trombones and their loping punctuation, to a finish that was supposed to have everyone off their feet. Basie's name ended up on the copyright, but alto saxophonist Buster Smith and arranger Eddie Durham likely wrote it (under the title "Blue Balls"). Whatever the origins, "One O'Clock Jump" was recorded by the Basie band for Decca Records on July 7, 1937, and on hearing it later that summer, audiences simply took it as an invitation to dance; and, as this was the era in which dancing was what one did when listening to jazz, "One O'Clock Jump" spread like wildfire. It became Basie's signature tune, which is one reason why it shows up on dozens of radio transcriptions and live Basie recordings from across Basie's career, but seldom appears complete -- usually only the first 30 or 40 seconds of the song are played, to introduce the band, because that was all that was needed. Benny Goodman also gave "One O'Clock Jump" a huge boost by adding it to his repertory, most visibly at the legendary January 16, 1938, Carnegie Hall concert where it was considered a highlight of a performance that was etched in history the moment it was played (Basie himself was standing in the wings that night, and played in the jam session that followed later in the program); and it was no accident that the number was depicted as being a key part of the Goodman repertory when Hollywood filmed The Benny Goodman Story. No less a figure than Glenn Miller, who was at no loss for solid repertory late in 1939, also featured "One O'Clock Jump" in a version with words, at his October 6, 1939, Carnegie Hall performance, and it entered the repertory of Harry James and dozens of other jazz notables. In 1942, it was still fresh enough that Basie felt compelled to re-cut it in a slightly smoother, breezier version, giving more play to the band and less to his piano, with his then-current band in January of 1942 for the OKeh label, with Don Byas and Buddy Tate featured on tenor saxes; a film clip of this version of the Basie band performing "One O'Clock Jump" also exists, and appears virtually complete on the Toby Byron/Matthew Seig documentary Swingin' the Blues: Count Basie (BMG Video). It was in the Basie repertory longer than almost any other number, right into the 1960s and 1970s, transformed somewhat with each change in the Basie band; he re-cut it for every label he ever recorded for except RCA-Victor, and it remains one of the most familiar and enduring of all swing era compositions.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1954 Clef Records
At Newport 1957 Verve 9:26
Breakfast Dance and Barbecue 1959 Roulette Records / Blue Note 3:45
Basie at Birdland 1961 Roulette Records / Blue Note 4:41
From Spirituals to Swing: Carnegie Hall Concerts 1938/1939 [Columbia] 1967
Various Artists
Definitive / Vanguard 0:49
Jazz Fest Masters: Count Basie 1969 Scotti Brothers 4:37
Standing Ovation 1969 DOT Records
Kansas City 5 1977 Original Jazz Classics 3:53
No Image 1977 Giants Of Jazz Recordings
Classic Swing: 12 Hits 1987
Various Artists
Upbeat / Hindsight 4:07
The Golden Years, Vol. 3 (1940-1944) [EPM] 1988 Jazz Archives (France)
One O'Clock Jump [History] 1989 History 2:58
The Count Basie Collection: The Golden Greats 1989 Deja Vu 4:15
A Sampler of Decca Jazz 1927-1949 1990
Various Artists
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Big Bands of the Swinging Year, Vol. 1 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 4:21
No Image 1990 Sandy Hook
Jive at Five [Living Era] 1991 Living Era
I Like Jazz: The Essence of Count Basie 1991 Columbia 3:02
The Sullivan Years: Big Band All-Stars 1991
Various Artists
The Complete Decca Recordings 1992 Decca / GRP / Verve 3:02
Giants of the Big Band Era: Count Basie [Pilz] 1992 Pilz 5:31
The Essential Big Bands 1992
Various Artists
Verve 9:47
20 Golden Pieces of Count Basie 1993 Bulldog 4:21
The Best of the Big Bands [Intersound 1040] 1993
Various Artists
Intersound 3:00
The Golden Years, Vol. 1 (1937) 1993 EPM 4:43
Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 2 1994 Verve 9:47
Low Life 1994 Drive (import) 3:18
Jumpin' at the Woodside [Trace/Prism] 1994 Satellite Sounds
No Image 1994 Deja Vu 3:03
Those Wonderful Years: Swingtime: 1930's & 1940's Swing 1994
Various Artists
Essex 3:01
On the Upbeat (1943-1947) 1995 Drive Archive 3:42
All Star Jazz [Box] 1995
Various Artists
Drive Archive 4:27
Big Band Sound [Prime Cuts] 1995
Various Artists
St. Clair / Retro Music 4:22
Best of the Big Bands [Boxset 1995] 1995
Various Artists
St. Clair / Boxsets 3:08
Great Jazz Bands [PGD Special Markets] 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / PSM 4:30
Basie Boogie [Prime Cuts] 1995 Prime Cuts 3:10
Listen...You Shall Hear [Hep] 1995 Hep 3:04
1929-1937, Vol. 3 1995 Masters of Jazz
The Jazz Collection: 100 Jazz Hits 1995
Various Artists
Madacy 3:09
In the Big Band Mood: Ain't Misbehavin' 1996
Various Artists
Eclipse Music Group 3:08
Original Historic Recordings: Masterpieces, Vol. 8 1996 EPM 3:02
Golden Hits 1996 Intercontinental Records
The Best of Early Basie 1996 GRP / Verve 3:02
Let's Dance [Intersound 1996] 1996
Various Artists
Compendia Music Group / Intersound 3:03
One O'Clock Jump [K-Tel] 1996 K-Tel Distribution 4:12
The Golden Years [Pablo] 1996 Pablo Records / Pablo 3:54
This Is Jazz, Vol. 11 1996 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 3:02
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:03
Great Big Bands [Goldies] 1996
Various Artists
Goldies 4:29
Je N'Aime Pas le Jazz: Mais Ça J'Aime Bien! 1996
Various Artists
Columbia/Legacy 2:53
1938-1939, Vol. 8 1997 Arco / Masters of Jazz 2:25
World of Big Band 1997
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:02
Revue Collection 1997 Revue Collection
At Birdland 1956 1997 Storyville 0:43
Lullaby of Birdland 1997 32 Jazz 3:37
One O'Clock Jump: The Very Best of Count Basie [Collectibles] 1998 Collectables 3:51
Uptown Saturday Night 1998
Various Artists
Rebound Records 4:29
Swing Is Alive 1998
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 3:01
Swingsation 1998 GRP 3:00
Live at the Sands (Before Frank) 1998 Reprise / Warner Bros. 2:18
Swinging Big Bands [Fine Tune] 1998
Various Artists
Fine Tune 3:03
Great 1998 Goldies 5:30
Selection of the Original Sounds of Kansas City 1998
Various Artists
Golden Sounds 3:06
Let's Swing [Box] 1998
Various Artists
Intersound 3:01
Jumpin' Jive [Roots of Swingin Jive] 1998
Various Artists
Roots of Swingin' Jive 3:07
Smokin' Jazz 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution 3:10
That's Jazz, Vol. 1: Jumpin' at the Woodside 1999
Various Artists
Drive (import) 3:18
Roots of Swing N Jive: Jumpin' at Woodside 1999
Various Artists
St. Clair / Boxsets 3:07
Cocktail Hour: Swing Time 1999
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:04
Forever Gold 1999 St. Clair 3:09
Real Kings of Swing 1999
Various Artists
Charly Records 3:04
Vol. 5: 1937-1938 1999 Masters of Jazz
4 Legendary Swing Bands 1999
Various Artists
Double Play Records 3:07
Jumpin' Jive & Swing Favorites 1999
Various Artists
Double Gold 4:10
Big Band Favorites [Madacy #1] 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 3:08
The Jazz Selection 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 3:49
Cafe Society Uptown 1941 2000 Storyville 0:46
The Roots of Swing N Jive 2000
Various Artists
Boxsets 3:07
April in Paris [Early Bird] 2000 Early Bird 3:25
Hot Hits: Big Bands Favorites 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:08
Siesta Jazz 2000
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:02
Jazz Collection [19 Tracks] 2000 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 3:24
Count Basie [Direct Source] 2000 Direct Source 3:49
Big Band Sounds [Direct Source Box Set #2] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:49
Swing Legends: 24 Classic Hits 2000 Nimbus 3:07
Anthology 2000 Stardust Records 3:02
Ken Burns Jazz 2000 Verve 3:03
100 Ans de Jazz 2000 RCA Victor
Big Band [Box Set] 2000
Various Artists
History 2:58
Cool Jazz: 21 Smooth Standards 2000
Various Artists
Prism Leisure 3:04
Blues by Basie/One O'Clock Jump 2001 Collectables 2:58
Swing on Parade 2001
Various Artists
Bandleader 2:45
The Best of Count Basie [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 2001 Liquid 8 3:54
One O'Clock Jump [Simply the Best] 2001 Disky
Swing with Big Band 2001
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:01
The Count Basie Story [Proper] 2001 Proper Sales & Dist. 3:01
When the Lights Go on Again: World War II Favorites 2001
Various Artists
Goldies 4:08
Cool Jazz: The Coolest of the Cool 2001
Various Artists
Mastersong 3:01
Makin' Whoopee [Magnum] 2001 Magnum Force / MagMid / Magnum 3:52
No Image 2001 Platinum Disc 3:52
Cool Jazz Smooth Standards 2001
Various Artists
MCA / Universal/MCA
The Jump King of Swing, Vol. 2 2001 Arpeggio Blues 1:28
Swinging Big Bands, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Ultimate Music Collection 3:53
Best of the Big Bands [Boxset 2002] 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:10
Count Basie's Finest Hour 2002 Universal / Verve 3:03
Golden Greats 2002 Golden Greats / Disky 3:05
Jazz Master Files [Box Set] 2002
Various Artists
United Multi Consign 3:53
Sine Vive le Jazz 2002
Various Artists
Frémeaux & Associés
Rhythm Pure & Simple 2002 Recall (UK) 2:55
Swing Baby Swing 2002
Various Artists
Essential Records
No Image 2002
1936-1961 2003 MSI Music Distribution / Sony Music Distribution 3:02
Big Band of the Swinging Years 2003
Various Artists
Timeless Treasures 4:21
No Image 2003 White Star
Ultimate Big Bands, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Intersound 2:58
That's Jazz, Vol. 4 [Wesgram] 2003
Various Artists
Wesgram 4:20
America's #1 Band: The Columbia Years 2003 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 2:53
At the Aquarium 1946 2003 Storyville / Jazz Unlimited 0:25
One O'Clock Jump and Other Hits [Rhino] 2003 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 4:09
In the Mood [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Reader's Digest Music 4:07
Kansas Jump 2003 Fabulous / Weton-Wesgram 3:00
Just Jazz: That Crazy Rhythm 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:52
On Film & Live 2003 Saga Records 3:15
Swinging the Blues: 1930-1939 2004 Jazz Legends 3:03
In The Mood: Big Band Hits 2004
Various Artists
Dynamic / Essential Gold 3:01
Swing Era 2004 Music Video Distribution
The Collection 2004 EMI 3:47
The Big Band Era [St. Clair] 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:52
All the Big Bands 2004
Various Artists
One O'Clock Jump [Synergy] 2004 Synergy Distribution 4:13
Swinging Big Bands Box 2004
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 3:53
Swinging at His Best 2005 Passport Audio
One O'Clock Jump [Hallmark] 2005 Hallmark Recordings
Big Band Era [Madacy] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 3:00
History of the Big Bands [Legacy] 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:59
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 3:49
Big Band Themes: Remember Them? 2005
Various Artists
Jasmine Records 3:02
The Jazz Bar, Vol. 2: The Finest Jazz 2005
Various Artists
ZYX Music
Jazz: Club Collection 2005
Various Artists
Delta Music Ltd. / Delta Distribution
A Celebration of Black Music 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:03
NEA Jazz Masters 2005 Verve 3:03
Basie's Boogie 2006 Collectables 3:05
Golden Legends: Count Basie 2006 Madacy 3:01
Special Evening of Jazz 2006 Immortal
20 Best of Jazz [2] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:00
The Vinyl Collection: Kings of Swing [St. Clair] 2006
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:58
Big Band Collection 2006
Various Artists
Diamond Collection 3:04
Swing Allstars 2006
Various Artists
Toshiba EMI
Best of Count Basie [Direct Source] 2006 Direct Source 3:03
Big Band Stars [2006] 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:04
Small Groups Studio Sides 1950-1952 2006 Saga Jazz 2:55
Great Big Band Hits/Swing Band Classics 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source Special 2:59
Jazz Icons: Live in '62 2006 TDK
Count Meets the Duke/Classics 2007 Collectables 3:05
Basie's Best [Charly] 2007 Absord
Basie Is Back 2007 Sony Music Distribution
Legends of Jazz [2007] 2007
Various Artists
Bayberry Records 3:03
The Golden Age of Swinging Big Bands 2007
Various Artists
Primo Records
History of Jazz: From Basin Street to Bebop 2007
Various Artists
Primo Records 3:08
Big Band Collection, Vol. 1 2007
Various Artists
Pazzazz 3:02
Giants of the Big Band Era: Count Basie [Acrobat] 2008 Acrobat 3:50
Sin Cities: London, Berlin, Shangai 2008
Various Artists
Golden Stars 3:02
No Image 2008 BD Jazz 3:04
Essential Jazz Classics 2008
Various Artists
The Gift of Music 3:03
Best of Jazz [Greatest Collection] 2008
Various Artists
Greatest Collection 3:08
Les Tresors du Jazz 1957 2008
Various Artists
Le Chant du Monde / Le Chant 2:06
Simply Swing [2009] 2009
Various Artists
Union Square Music / Simply 3:04
The Golden Age of Swing: Twenty Greatest Hits 2009
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:03
No Image
Various Artists
Big Band Jazz, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Smithsonian Records
Every Tub Past Perfect 3:06
Jazz Cafe: 60 Smooth Jazz Favourites
Various Artists
Prism Leisure Corporation (UK)
No Image
Various Artists
No Image Affinity
The Art Deco Music Collection
Various Artists
Art Deco
No Image Mosaic
The Jazz Selection, Vol. 1 [Tring #1]
Various Artists
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