Count Basie

1938-1939

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AllMusic Review by

The second Count Basie release on the Classics label, 1938-1939 offers a generous helping of the prime, groundbreaking swing the group brought to the national limelight from 1936-1942. These original Decca sides include everything from full-band charts by arranger Eddie Durham and fine vocals by Jimmy Rushing and Helen Humes to rare cuts of Basie accompanied only by his rhythm section. And, of course, there are many fine solos by star instrumentalist and jazz legend Lester Young, who came up with Basie between 1936-1940. In addition to Young's fine tenor saxophone statement on "Every Tub," other stellar contributions are made by trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, trombonist Dickie Wells, and unsung reed player Herschel Evans, whose tenor solos on "Blue and Sentimental," "Doggin' Around," and his own composition "Texas Shuffle" especially stand out. Throughout the set, rhythm section members drummer Jo Jones, bassist Walter Page, and guitarist Freddie Green provide the kind of streamlined swing that not only became manna for dancers during the late '30s, but also garnered the admiration of jazz musicians all over the world. This is a nicely varied and highly gratifying set of Basie tunes. The sound is great too. [For those who want to get all of Basie's Decca sides on one collection instead of spread out over individual discs, there's MCA's 3-CD set Original American Decca Recordings.]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:01
2 2:54
3 3:15
4 2:51
5 2:42
6 2:55
7 3:09
8 2:58
9 3:14
10 2:59
11 3:02
12 3:04
13 2:55
14 3:03
15
2:47
16 2:49
17 3:03
18 2:44
19 2:43
20 3:15
21 2:45
22 2:46
23 2:59
24 2:46
25 2:56
blue highlight denotes track pick