Swinging the Fifties

Count Basie

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Swinging the Fifties Review

by Scott Yanow

Two unrelated radio airchecks occupy one side apiece of this collector's LP. The Count Basie Orchestra is heard live at Birdland on a strong set highlighted by versions of "April in Paris" and "Eve-day I Have the Blues" that predate the classic studio recordings (for the latter song by just six days). The flip side has the otherwise unrecorded Horace Henderson Orchestra of 1954, a very musical but not particularly distinctive aggregation that did not catch on. It is interesting to hear Henderson (Fletcher's younger brother) performing a modern chart like the Stan Kenton-associated "Artistry Jumps."