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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, November 18, 2016

CD Review: Count Basie Orchestra - High Voltage.

Not entirely the Basie we've grown up with. The earthy, blustering swing of the Kansas City days are gone and there are no new pieces to match the pinnacle that was The Atomic Mr. Basie. On the plus side, there are no Beatles or James Bond numbers which had been the theme of albums preceding this 1970 recording. Instead, we have an album of standards that display the band as a most superior dance band, and I'm not using the term in a derogatory manner. They'd just completed a ten-day cruise of the West Indies on the QEII and, obviously, the mixed audience weren't looking for Flight of the Foo Birds or Splanky.
Nevertheless, this was still a swinging band with Lockjaw booting it out, Eric Dixon adding some flute delicacies, Joe Newman handling the trumpet solos, Dodgion and Adkins the alto shots and, surprise guest, Buddy Morrow taking the 'bone blasts. Basie reveals he could play as sophisticated as anyone with Green comping alongside his career-length master and Harold Jones kicking it along on drums.
Back then, Harry James had a swinging Basie style band and, in many ways, apart from the soloists, this bears a close resemblance. Sort of,  Basie plays James plays Basie - sort of but not quite!
The modern Basie band made it's comeback on Clef with Dance Sessions 1 and 2 so perhaps this could be classed as number 3. Green and Newman are on all 3.
I wonder, did those passengers on the QEII realise that what they were getting for their money was worth more than the rest of the cruise offerings combined!
Chicago; Have You Met Miss Jones; The Lady is a Tramp; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You; Bewitched; Day In Day Out; Get me to the Church on Time; When Sonny Gets Blue (I assumed this was to be a feature for Sonny Cohn but it wasn't - typo on sleeve I guess); On The Sunny Side of the Street; Together; If I Were a Bell; I Didn't Know What Time it Was.
Lance.
 Count Basie Orchestra - High Voltage available on MPS.

1 comment :

Neil Smith said...

I have fond memories of this album, as it's the first LP I bought with my own money, as a 12-year old back in 1972! Nice to see it back in print .. and I didn't know the back story about the QE2 cruise that preceded it, explaining perhaps why the band sounds particularly relaxed yet polished on this recording. The Eddie Lockjaw Davis solos are standout here.

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