Count Basie

One O'clock Jump

Composed by Count Basie

Song Review by

If there was a single number that big band musicians and fans alike considered virtually an anthem for the swing era, it was "One O'Clock Jump" by Count Basie & His Orchestra. The composition, usually done as an instrumental, embodied everything that was striking about the big jazz-based orchestras that called the tune in popular music in the second half of the 1930s: Basie's spare yet deceptively complex introduction on the piano, accompanied by guitar and drums, is a lead-in for the tenor sax (Herschel Evans), trombone (George Hunt), another tenor (Lester Young), and a trumpet (Buck Clayton), which brings in the whole reed section backed by the trombones and their loping punctuation, to a finish that was supposed to have everyone off their feet. Basie's name ended up on the copyright, but alto saxophonist Buster Smith and arranger Eddie Durham likely wrote it (under the title "Blue Balls"). Whatever the origins, "One O'Clock Jump" was recorded by the Basie band for Decca Records on July 7, 1937, and on hearing it later that summer, audiences simply took it as an invitation to dance; and, as this was the era in which dancing was what one did when listening to jazz, "One O'Clock Jump" spread like wildfire. It became Basie's signature tune, which is one reason why it shows up on dozens of radio transcriptions and live Basie recordings from across Basie's career, but seldom appears complete -- usually only the first 30 or 40 seconds of the song are played, to introduce the band, because that was all that was needed. Benny Goodman also gave "One O'Clock Jump" a huge boost by adding it to his repertory, most visibly at the legendary January 16, 1938, Carnegie Hall concert where it was considered a highlight of a performance that was etched in history the moment it was played (Basie himself was standing in the wings that night, and played in the jam session that followed later in the program); and it was no accident that the number was depicted as being a key part of the Goodman repertory when Hollywood filmed The Benny Goodman Story. No less a figure than Glenn Miller, who was at no loss for solid repertory late in 1939, also featured "One O'Clock Jump" in a version with words, at his October 6, 1939, Carnegie Hall performance, and it entered the repertory of Harry James and dozens of other jazz notables. In 1942, it was still fresh enough that Basie felt compelled to re-cut it in a slightly smoother, breezier version, giving more play to the band and less to his piano, with his then-current band in January of 1942 for the OKeh label, with Don Byas and Buddy Tate featured on tenor saxes; a film clip of this version of the Basie band performing "One O'Clock Jump" also exists, and appears virtually complete on the Toby Byron/Matthew Seig documentary Swingin' the Blues: Count Basie (BMG Video). It was in the Basie repertory longer than almost any other number, right into the 1960s and 1970s, transformed somewhat with each change in the Basie band; he re-cut it for every label he ever recorded for except RCA-Victor, and it remains one of the most familiar and enduring of all swing era compositions.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1954 Clef Records
No Image 1965
From Spirituals to Swing: Carnegie Hall Concerts 1938/1939 [Columbia] 1967
Various Artists
Definitive / Vanguard 0:49
Kansas City 5 1977 Original Jazz Classics 3:53
No Image 1977 Giants Of Jazz Recordings
Classic Swing: 12 Hits 1987
Various Artists
Upbeat / Hindsight 4:07
Great Jazz Bands Play 22 Original Hits 1988
Various Artists
Hindsight 4:07
Class of '54 1989 1201 Music 0:41
One O'Clock Jump [History] 1989 History 2:58
Big Band Era [Compose] 1989
Various Artists
Peter Pan (ISP) 3:07
A Sampler of Decca Jazz 1927-1949 1990
Various Artists
MCA 3:01
No Image 1990 Fantasy
Big Bands of the Swinging Year, Vol. 1 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 4:21
No Image 1990 Sandy Hook
Jive at Five [Living Era] 1991 ASV / Living Era 0:00
I Like Jazz: The Essence of Count Basie 1991 Columbia 3:02
Big Bands of the Swingin' Years [Quicksilver] 1991
Various Artists
Quicksilver 4:21
The Complete Decca Recordings 1992 Decca / GRP / Verve 3:02
Jazz Collector Edition 1992 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 2:38
Big Band Instrumentals: 16 Most Requested Songs 1992
Various Artists
Columbia 2:51
Giants of the Big Band Era: Count Basie [Pilz] 1992 Pilz 5:31
Big Band's Greatest Hits 1992
Various Artists
Charly Records
20 Golden Pieces of Count Basie 1993 Bulldog 4:21
The Best of the Big Bands [Intersound 1040] 1993
Various Artists
Intersound 3:00
The Flapper Box 1993
Various Artists
Pearl 3:04
Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 2 1994 Verve 9:47
Low Life 1994 Drive (import) 3:18
Jumpin' at the Woodside [Trace/Prism] 1994 Trace Records
Gold Collection [Deja Vu] 1994
Various Artists
Deja Vu 3:03
Kings of Swing Anthology 1994
Various Artists
Millenium Music 3:03
21 All Time Swing Greats 1994
Various Artists
ASV / Living Era 3:02
Those Wonderful Years: Swingtime: 1930's & 1940's Swing 1994
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 3:16
On the Upbeat (1943-1947) 1995 Drive Archive 3:42
All Star Jazz [Box] 1995
Various Artists
Drive Archive 4:27
Big Band Sound [Prime Cuts] 1995
Various Artists
St. Clair / Retro Music 4:22
Great Jazz Bands [PGD Special Markets] 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / PSM 4:30
Basie Boogie [Prime Cuts] 1995 Prime Cuts 3:10
Listen...You Shall Hear [Hep] 1995 Hep 3:04
The Jazz Collection: 100 Jazz Hits 1995
Various Artists
Madacy 3:09
Frankie & Johnny [Eclipse] 1996
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 3:08
Golden Hits 1996 Intercontinental Records
Let's Dance [Intersound 1996] 1996
Various Artists
Compendia Music Group / Intersound 3:03
One O'Clock Jump [K-Tel] 1996 K-Tel Distribution 3:01
The Unbeatable Basie Beat 1996 Avid 2:57
This Is Jazz, Vol. 11 1996 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 3:02
Big Bands of the Swinging Years [Tradition] 1996
Various Artists
Tradition 4:24
Great Big Bands [Goldies] 1996
Various Artists
Goldies 4:29
Big Band Sound: The Platinum Collection 1996
Various Artists
Start 3:04
1938-1939, Vol. 8 1997 Arco / Masters of Jazz 2:25
World of Big Band 1997
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:02
3 for 3: Glenn Miller, Count Basie & Duke Ellington 1997 St. Clair / 3 for 3 3:49
Lullaby of Birdland 1997 32 Jazz 3:37
One O'Clock Jump: The Very Best of Count Basie [Collectibles] 1998 Collectables 3:51
Uptown Saturday Night 1998
Various Artists
Rebound Records 4:29
Jazz Hits, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Valmark / Columbia River Entertainment Group 0:00
Swingsation 1998 GRP 3:00
A Portrait of Count Basie [Gallerie] 1998 Gallerie 2:59
Swinging Big Bands [Fine Tune] 1998
Various Artists
Fine Tune 3:03
Great 1998 Goldies 5:30
Selection of the Original Sounds of Kansas City 1998
Various Artists
Golden Sounds 3:06
Jumpin' Jive [Roots of Swingin Jive] 1998
Various Artists
Roots of Swingin' Jive 3:07
Platinum Collection [Start] 1998 Platinum Collection / Platinum Entertainment 3:04
Cocktail Hour: Swing Time 1999
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:04
Forever Gold 1999 St. Clair 3:09
Real Kings of Swing 1999
Various Artists
Charly Records 3:04
Jumpin' Jive [Allegiance] 1999
Various Artists
Allegiance Records 4:07
4 Legendary Swing Bands 1999
Various Artists
Double Play Records 3:07
Jumpin' Jive & Swing Favorites 1999
Various Artists
Double Gold 4:10
Big Band Favorites [Madacy #1] 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 3:08
The Jazz Selection 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 3:49
April in Paris [Early Bird] 2000 Early Bird 3:25
Hot Hits: Big Bands Favorites 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:08
Jumpin 2000 Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:53
Count on the Coast, Vol. 2 2000 Phontastic 3:32
Jazz Collection [19 Tracks] 2000 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 3:24
Count Basie [Direct Source] 2000 Direct Source 3:49
Big Band Sounds [Direct Source Box Set #2] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:49
Swing Legends: 24 Classic Hits 2000 Nimbus 3:07
Ken Burns Jazz 2000 Verve 3:03
Listen My Children You Shall Hear [Avid] 2000 Avid 3:02
Big Band [Box Set] 2000
Various Artists
History 2:59
Cool Jazz: 21 Smooth Standards 2000
Various Artists
Prism Leisure 3:04
Blues by Basie/One O'Clock Jump 2001 Collectables 2:58
Swing on Parade 2001
Various Artists
Bandleader 2:45
The Best of Count Basie [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 2001 EMI-Capitol Special Markets 0:00
Harlem Saturday Night 2001
Various Artists
Golden Stars 4:08
Big Band Legends 2001 Direct Source 3:50
The Count Basie Story [Proper] 2001 Proper Sales & Dist. 3:01
When the Lights Go on Again: World War II Favorites 2001
Various Artists
Goldies 4:08
Cool Jazz: The Coolest of the Cool 2001
Various Artists
Disky 0:00
Makin' Whoopee [Magnum] 2001 Meteor (UK) 3:52
No Image 2001 Platinum Disc 3:52
The Encyclopedia of Jazz 2001
Various Artists
Retro Records / Recording Arts / Retro Music 3:05
Golden Greats 2002 Golden Greats / Disky 3:05
Jazz Master Files [Box Set] 2002
Various Artists
United Multi Consign 3:53
Sine Vive le Jazz 2002
Various Artists
Frémeaux & Associés
Rhythm Pure & Simple 2002 Recall (UK) 2:55
Big Band of the Swinging Years 2003
Various Artists
Timeless Treasures 4:21
Ultimate Legends 2003 United Multi License 3:53
Ultimate Big Bands, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Intersound 2:58
America's #1 Band: The Columbia Years 2003 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 3:08
One O'Clock Jump and Other Hits [Rhino] 2003 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 4:09
In the Mood [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Reader's Digest Music 4:07
Kansas Jump 2003 Fabulous / Weton-Wesgram 3:00
Just Jazz: That Crazy Rhythm 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:52
Jukebox Hits 1940-1952 2003 Acrobat Music 3:02
The Alternative Takes, Vol. 6: 1944-1952 2004 Neatwork 3:11
Swinging the Blues: 1930-1939 2004 Jazz Legends 3:03
Swings in Hi-Stereo/My Very Good Friends the Bandleaders 2004 Dutton Vocalion 3:46
In The Mood: Big Band Hits 2004
Various Artists
Dynamic / Essential Gold 3:01
Swing Era 2004 Music Video Distribution
Jammin' the Blues [DVD] 2004 Efor Films
The Big Band Era [St. Clair] 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:52
Big Band Hits and Themes 2004 Group 7 4:22
One O'Clock Jump [Synergy] 2004 Synergy Distribution 4:13
Swinging Big Bands Box 2004
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 3:53
Big Band Era [Madacy] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 3:00
History of the Big Bands [Legacy] 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:59
Big Band Themes: Remember Them? 2005
Various Artists
Jasmine Records 3:02
At Last... Swing! 2005 Budmusic 3:06
The Complete Clef/Verve Count Basie Fifties Studio Recordings 2005 Mosaic 4:34
The Best of Tony Bennett and Count Basie 2005 Jazz Forever 2:55
NEA Jazz Masters 2005 Verve 3:03
Golden Legends: Count Basie 2006 Madacy 3:01
20 Best of Jazz [2] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:00
Big Band Collection 2006
Various Artists
Deuce 2:48
Count Meets the Duke/Classics 2007 Collectables 3:05
Big Band Rhythms 2007
Various Artists
Pazzazz 3:02
Basie's Best [Charly] 2007 Absord
History of Jazz: From Basin Street to Bebop 2007
Various Artists
Primo Records 3:08
Big Band Collection, Vol. 1 2007
Various Artists
Pazzazz 3:02
Giants of the Big Band Era: Count Basie [Acrobat] 2008 Acrobat Music 3:50
Sin Cities: London, Berlin, Shangai 2008
Various Artists
Golden Stars 3:02
Only the Best of Count Basie and His Orchestra 2009 Collectables 3:05
The Complete Jazz Collection 2009
Various Artists
Horizon 3:01
The Big Band Leader 2010 Membran 3:01
No Image 2012 BD Jazz
Count Basie and His Orchestra: Big Bands 2016 Bella Musica Edition / Zebralution
300 Hits: Jazz
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:58
Big Band Jazz, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Smithsonian Records
No Image
Various Artists
Decca 4:28
New Orleans Jazz: Verve 50
Various Artists
Decca / Universal 4:28
No Image
Various Artists
9:21
No Image Affinity