The Basie Special

Count Basie

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The Basie Special Review

by Scott Yanow

Dating from 1944-46, this LP set of formerly rare excerpts from radio broadcasts puts the focus on a lesser-known version of Count Basie's orchestra. The soloists as usual are top-notch (particularly trumpeters Harry Edison and Joe Newman, trombonist Dickie Wells and tenors Buddy Tate and Lucky Thompson) and the arrangements, although not yet influenced by bebop, are fairly modern for the period. Much of the material is obscure and the swing is irresitible, making this an excellent example of mid-'40s Basie.