Count Basie

Basie's Timing

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Count Basie's Basie's Timing compiles two studio sessions that were originally made for Groove Merchant. The 1969 recording, first issued under the title Evergreens, features alto saxophonist Bobby Plater, tenor saxophonist Eddie Lockjaw Davis, and the leader's economical solos in concise arrangements by Chico O'Farrill, with the exception of "(I Don't Stand) A Ghost of a Chance," which is scored by Eric Dixon. Though most of the songs are standards from the '30s and '40s, there are a couple of wild cards. The band has a little bit of fun with a brief but swinging take of the corny "Ma! He's Making Eyes at Me"; while Basie's blues theme "M Squad" (written for the television series of the same name) also seems a bit out of place; though it is a great feature for Eric Dixon on flute.

The 1970 session was initially released by MPS as Count Basie and His Orchestra, then later reissued by Verve as High Voltage. It was also arranged by O'Farrill and concentrates on songs from the same time frame as the earlier record, though a slightly wider variety of soloists are featured, with Davis still taking the lion's share. One surprise is "Together," with a gritty solo by Davis, which is strangely credited to '60s pop artist Harry Nilsson, though it is obviously the much older standard written by B. G. DeSylva, Lew Brown, and Ray Henderson. This two-record set can't really be called essential for fans of Count Basie, though the music is enjoyable.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:16
2 2:50
3 3:50
4 2:48
5 2:53
6 2:12
7 2:15
8 3:23
9 2:33
10 2:54
11 2:45
12 2:47
13 2:47
14 2:45
15 2:53
16 2:46
17 4:59
18 2:33
19 2:15
20 3:43
21 2:15
22 3:07
23 2:15
24 2:11
blue highlight denotes track pick