Joe Williams had enlivened the Count Basie band for so long that it was natural for Basie and company to return the favor on his 1959 solo LP for Roulette. And with a trio of Basie arrangers -- Frank Foster, Ernie Wilkins, Thad Jones -- providing charts for a rather small group here, the results are excellent. Williams focuses in by opening with his two most famous Basie-era songs, "Every Day I Have the Blues" and "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home." From there, though, he stretches out slightly by singing all manner of songs from the blues and R&B repertoire that work well with his talents, best of all on a pair of Big Joe Turner classics -- "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Cherry Red." The arrangements and playing are excellent, as could be expected from this group, including Jones and Snooky Young on trumpet, Frank Foster and Billy Mitchell on tenor, Freddie Green on guitar, and, of course, Basie himself on piano.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush