Count Basie

The Golden Years [Pablo]

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Count Basie spent the last decade of his life recording regularly for Norman Granz's Pablo label. This four-CD set, which does not contain any material not available elsewhere, has "the best of" Basie's final period, 61 selections in all. Each disc covers a different (although sometimes overlapping) aspect of Basie's career: live performances, small groups, his big band and working behind vocalists. The Who's Who of Pablo's roster is featured with such soloists as various Basie members (including tenor-saxophonist Jimmy Forrest and Eric Dixon, trombonist Al Grey and trumpeter Pete Minger), vibraphonist Milt Jackson, altoist Benny Carter, tenors Johnny Griffin, Zoot Sims and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, trumpeters Roy Eldridge, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and Freddie Hubbard, trombonists Vic Dickenson and J.J. Johnson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassists Niels Pedersen and Ray Brown, drummer Louie Bellson, pianist Oscar Peterson, and singers Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Big Joe Turner, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (who also plays alto), and band vocalist Bill Caffey. This well-conceived set is easily recommended to Count Basie fans who do not already own too many of his individual Pablo recordings.

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