Count Basie

Olympia: Live 5-62

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One of a series of concerts recorded for broadcast by Europe1, this 1965 set by Count Basie finds the band in top form. The brisk performance of "Jumpin' at the Woodside," long a part of the Basie band's book, seems infused with new energy as the soloists hand it off to one another, with a number of riffs incorporated from other songs. Basie's opening solo to "Li'l' Darlin" makes one wish that he would take a few more solos, but that just wasn't his way. "April in Paris" became a band staple with the swinging chart featuring Thad Jones' famous quote from "Pop Goes the Weasel" and this version remains fresh. The unidentified flautist steals solo honors in the brisk treatment of "Cute." O.C. Smith is a capable vocalist in "All Right, Okay, You Win" though he isn't quite at the level of Joe Williams. Recommended.

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