Basie Reunions

Count Basie

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Basie Reunions Review

by Scott Yanow

This double LP is a delight. Count Basie is nowhere in sight, but a variety of his alumni team up for some solidly swinging and often exciting performances. On the first date (originally issued as For Basie), tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette (the main star of these sessions) heads a sextet with trumpeter Shad Collins, pianist Nat Pierce, guitarist Freddie Greene, bassist Walter Page (his last recording date) and drummer Jo Jones; the later session (Basie Reunion) utilizes the same group with Eddie Jones in Page's place and the additions of trumpeter Buck Clayton and baritonist Jack Washington. The two-fer has ten performances of material associated with Basie's band of the late '30s, and one gets a rare chance to hear Collins and Washington stretch out during this late period. Everyone is in prime form and sounds happy to get the opportunity to join in on the reunions. Unfortunately, this music has yet to be reissued on CD, but the two-LP set is quite attractive and worth picking up anyway.