After cutting seminal material with both his Giants group and first big-band contingent (1953's Cool and Crazy album), Shorty Rogers recorded some prescient sides for the Marlon Brando movie The Wild Ones (Rogers would spend the majority of the '60s and '70s doing film and TV work) and paid homage to Count Basie with these 12 titles from 1954. Having found his own voice through stints with Woody Herman and Stan Kenton, Rogers gets a chance to show his appreciation for one of his early influences, with charts that both reflect the supple bounce of Basie and the complexly cool sound the trumpeter had been forging since the late '40s. Including new arrangements of such classic Basie sides as "Topsy" and "Doggin' Around," plus three Rogers charts in the Basie style, Shorty Rogers Courts the Count provides ample room for fine solo work by West Coast luminaries like trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, alto saxophonist Bud Shank, tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, bassist Curtis Counce, and the great drummer Shelly Manne. Kansas City goes Hollywood and the feeling's fine.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook