Classics #1107 focuses on the final three years in the initial career of Count Basie's big band, 1947-1949. While the classic Lester Young era had already been shaped ten years earlier, this version of the Basie band still featured a bevy of talent including Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Emmett Berry, Melba Liston, Paul Gonsalves, and Dickie Wells. The majority of vocals are handled by Jimmy Rushing, including the last he would record with Basie, "Walkin Slow Behind You." Jeanne Taylor, Bobby Troup, Taps Miller, and Billy Valentine also make brief vocal appearances. These initial 1947 cuts were recorded right before the second record ban in December of that year. Basie's orchestra would not record again until 1949 when the big-band era was coming to a close and the record ban ended. In 1950, Basie had to restructure the orchestra into a small combo until he could financially reform the big band a few years later.
AllMusic Review by Al Campbell