Count Basie

The Golden Years, Vol. 1 (1937)

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Here's an interesting set in the Jazz Archive series. Rather than concentrate on studio sessions from 1937, this offering combines two airchecks from the Savoy Ballroom and the Meadowbrook in New Jersey. Of course, it's the Basie band in their prime with Buck Clayton as lead trumpet, a sax section with both Lester Young and Hershel Evans aboard, and the unmovable rhythm section of Freddie Green, Walter Page, and Jo Jones swinging every note. Add vocals from Jimmy Rushing and Billie Holiday and you've got a treasure trove of performances. Transfers of the old acetates are pretty decent, but the music is so great that it hardly matters much.

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