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He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. In which city did Count Basie first hear the blues? His father played the mellophone, and his mother played the piano; in fact, she gave Basie his first piano lessons. He also scored a series of Top Ten hits on the pop and R&B charts, including "I Didn't Know About You" (pop, winter 1945); "Red Bank Blues" (R&B, winter 1945); "Rusty Dusty Blues" (R&B, spring 1945); "Jimmy's Blues" (pop and R&B, summer/fall 1945); and "Blue Skies" (pop, summer 1946). Around 1920, Basie went to Harlem, a hotbed of jazz, where he lived down the block from the Alhambra Theater. Some time in or before 1935, the now single Basie returned to New York City, renting a house at 111 West 138th Street, Manhattan, as evidenced by the 1940 census. Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards, A Swingin' Christmas (Featuring The Count Basie Big Band), NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Artist, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Count_Basie&oldid=1000520606, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with Encyclopædia Britannica links, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band, Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist (Instrumental), Best Performance by an Orchestra – For Dancing. Piano. Late one night with time to fill, the band started improvising. Basie liked the results and named the piece "One O'Clock Jump. [68] He was a guest on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, a venue also opened to several other black entertainers. ", American jazz musician, bandleader, and composer, Los Angeles and the Cavalcade of Jazz concerts. Count Basie was among the most important bandleaders of the swing era. He suffered a heart attack in 1976 that put him out of commission for several months. April 08, 2017. [2][3] His father worked as a coachman and caretaker for a wealthy judge. An important addition to the band in late 1954 was vocalist Joe Williams. Basie's new band was more of an ensemble group, with fewer solo turns, and relying less on "head" and more on written arrangements. [90] The board selects songs in an annual basis that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. "[64] In 1957, Basie sued the jazz venue Ball and Chain in Miami over outstanding fees, causing the closure of the venue. The retooled Basie band of the 1950s was a precision instrument nicknamed "The Basie Machine" by its admirers--a phrase that caught on with the band's detractors as well. By the mid-1950s, Basie's band had become one of the preeminent backing big bands for some of the most prominent jazz vocalists of the time. Basie's 14-man band began playing at the Famous Door, a mid-town nightspot with a CBS network feed and air conditioning, which Hammond was said to have bought the club in return for their booking Basie steadily throughout the summer of 1938. [41], Hammond introduced Basie to Billie Holiday, whom he invited to sing with the band. After Vocalion became a subsidiary of Columbia Records in 1938, "Boogie Woogie" was released in 1941 as part of a four-record compilation album entitled Boogie Woogie (Columbia album C44). The band's vocalist was Jimmy Rushing. Image of Wayne King, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Bill Elliot at Big Band Festival at Disneyland, Anaheim, 1964. Throughout his tours, Basie met many jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong. This initiated a period largely deplored by jazz fans that ran through the rest of the 1960s, when Basie teamed with various vocalists for a series of chart albums including Ella Fitzgerald (Ella and Basie!, 1963); Sinatra again (the Top 20 album It Might as Well Be Swing, 1964); Sammy Davis, Jr. (Our Shining Hour, 1965); the Mills Brothers (The Board of Directors, 1968); and Jackie Wilson (Manufacturers of Soul, 1968). She even toured with the Basie Orchestra in the mid-1970s, and Fitzgerald and Basie also met on the 1979 albums A Classy Pair, Digital III at Montreux, and A Perfect Match, the last two also recorded live at Montreux. A towering figure in big-band jazz, with a lean piano style and a gift for setting tempos and making a rhythm section swing. In May 2019, Basie was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Memphis, TN, presented by The Blues Foundation. The orchestra was re-established commercially by the 1955 album Count Basie Swings - Joe Williams Sings (released on Clef Records), particularly by the single "Every Day (I Have the Blues)," which reached the Top Five of the R&B charts and was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. After automobiles replaced horses, his father became a groundskeeper and handyman for several wealthy families in the area. [5] Greer and Basie played together in venues until Greer set out on his professional career. [15], Back in Harlem in 1925, Basie gained his first steady job at Leroy's, a place known for its piano players and its "cutting contests." Video: Count Basie at Birdland. Their "Moten Swing", which Basie claimed credit for,[23] was widely acclaimed and was an invaluable contribution to the development of swing music, and at one performance at the Pearl Theatre in Philadelphia in December 1932, the theatre opened its door to allow anybody in who wanted to hear the band perform. (HL.843010). On May 23, 1985, William "Count" Basie was presented, posthumously, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan. Count Basie was among the most important bandleaders of the swing era. As Metronome magazine proclaimed, "Basie's Brilliant Band Conquers Chick's"; the article described the evening: Throughout the fight, which never let down in its intensity during the whole fray, Chick took the aggressive, with the Count playing along easily and, on the whole, more musically scientifically. Jazz Musician of the Day: Count Basie. Once the musicians found what they liked, they usually were able to repeat it using their "head arrangements" and collective memory.[44]. [74], Count Basie died of pancreatic cancer in Hollywood, Florida on April 26, 1984 at the age of 79.[1]. Mechanic Street, where he grew up with his family, has the honorary title of Count Basie Way. Dance hall bookings were down sharply as swing began to fade, the effects of the musicians' strikes of 1942–44 and 1948 began to be felt, and the public's taste grew for singers. He occasionally played four-hand piano and dual pianos with Moten, who also conducted. When Young complained of Herschel Evans' vibrato, Basie placed them on either side of the alto players, and soon had the tenor players engaged in "duels". vaudeville circuits; and as a soloist and accompanist to blues singer Gonzelle White as well as Crippen. She paid 25 cents a lesson for Count Basie's piano instruction. Frank Sinatra recorded for the first time with Basie on 1962's Sinatra-Basie and for a second studio album on 1964's It Might as Well Be Swing, which was arranged by Quincy Jones. Discouraged by the obvious talents of Sonny Greer, who also lived in Red Bank and became Duke Ellington's drummer in 1919, Basie switched to piano exclusively at age 15. At the first Grammy Awards ceremony, Basie won the 1958 awards for Best Performance by a Dance Band and Best Jazz Performance, Group, for his Roulette Records LP Basie. Jones also arranged and conducted 1966's live Sinatra at the Sands which featured Sinatra with Count Basie and his orchestra at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. [33] When he made the Vocalion recordings, Basie had already signed with Decca Records, but did not have his first recording session with them until January 1937. Count Basie and his Friends, myspace.com. [69] That summer, Basie and Duke Ellington combined forces for the recording First Time! With Billy Eckstine on the album Basie/Eckstine Incorporated, in 1959. Count Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Basie added touches of bebop "so long as it made sense", and he required that "it all had to have feeling". Read Full Biography. The award was received by his son, Aaron Woodward. There were often no musical notations made. [72] The Basies bought a home in the new whites-only neighborhood of Addisleigh Park in 1946 on Adelaide Road and 175th Street, St. Albans, Queens. His father worked as a coachman and caretaker for a wealthy judge. Basie credited Billy Eckstine, a top male vocalist of the time, for prompting his return to Big Band. Piano. [9] When not playing a gig, he hung out at the local pool hall with other musicians, where he picked up on upcoming play dates and gossip. Basie is a part of the Big Band Leaders issue, which, is in turn, part of the Legends of American Music series. [1] As he did with Duke Ellington, Willie "the Lion" Smith helped Basie out during the lean times by arranging gigs at "house-rent parties," introducing him to other leading musicians, and teaching him some piano technique. Count Basie / Sarah Vaughan - Count Basie/Sarah Vaughan music CD album at CD Universe, Live Recording, enjoy top rated service and worldwide shipping. With the exception of a brief period in the early '50s, he led a big band from 1935 until his death almost 50 years later, and the band continued to perform after he died. September 28, 2017. During the interview Count Basie mentions that one of the modern artists he respects the most is Dave Brubeck. [31] Hammond had heard Basie's band by radio and went to Kansas City to check them out. A towering figure in big-band jazz, with a lean piano style and a gift for setting tempos and making a rhythm section swing. Count Basie and His Orchestra: 2:47: 22: Don't Worry About Me. Basie also toured with Bennett, including a date at Carnegie Hall. The big bands' decline in popularity in the late '40s hit Basie as it did his peers, and he broke up his orchestra at the end of the decade, opting to lead smaller units for the next couple of years. The band gained a residency at the Reno Club in Kansas City and began broadcasting on the radio, an announcer dubbing the pianist "Count" Basie. Lester Willis Young (August 27, 1909 – March 15, 1959), nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist.. Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie's orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument. Williams remained with Basie until 1960, and even after his departure, the band continued to prosper. [62] Soon, his band was touring and recording again. https://www.answers.com/Q/What_instrument_did_Count_Basie_play She was 67 years old. The big band era appeared to have ended after the war, and Basie disbanded the group. [65], In 1958, the band made its first European tour. Count Basie and Kay Starr. What instrument did Count Basie play? "Stop Beatin' Round the Mulberry Bush," with Rushing on vocals, became a Top Ten hit in the fall of 1938. Count Basie, Soundtrack: Pearl Harbor. In 1957, Basie released the live album Count Basie at Newport. Another Basie innovation was the use of two tenor saxophone players; at the time, most bands had just one. The orchestra was re-established commercially by the 1955 album Count Basie Swings - Joe Williams Sings (released on Clef Records), particularly by the single "Every Day (I Have the Blues)," which reached the Top Five of the R&B charts and was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Shop and Buy Count Basie - Volume 17 sheet music. Hits of the 50's and 60's. Count Basie was admired as much by musicians as by listeners, and he displayed a remarkable consistency in a bandleading career that lasted long after swing became an archival style of music. During a stay in Chicago, Basie recorded with the band. [29] Right from the start, Basie's band was noted for its rhythm section. Count Basie Browse our 5 arrangements of "One O'Clock Jump." "When his own band folded, he rejoined Moten with a newly re-organized band. Count Basie Center for the Arts 99 Monmouth Street Red Bank, NJ 07701. [73], On April 11, 1983, Catherine Basie died of heart disease at the couple's home in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. Basie was not a composer like Duke Ellington or an important soloist like Benny Goodman. He led the group for almost 50 years There were further nominations for best jazz performance for Basie at Birdland in 1961 and The Legend in 1962. William Basie was born to Lillian and Harvey Lee Basie in Red Bank, New Jersey. The tune became the band's theme song and it was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Find Count Basie bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic - A towering figure in big-band jazz, with a lean… Kansas City. Little did Basie know this touch of royalty would give him proper status and position him with the likes of Duke Ellington and Earl Hines. Basie had Holiday, and Webb countered with the singer Ella Fitzgerald. [20] Where the Blue Devils were "snappier" and more "bluesy," the Moten band was more refined and respected, playing in the "Kansas City stomp" style. When Moten died, the band tried to stay together but couldn't make a go of it. The couple kept her and cared deeply for her, and especially through her mother's tutelage Diane learned not only to walk but to swim. Undismayed by Chick's forceful drum beating, which sent the audience into shouts of encouragement and appreciation and casual beads of perspiration to drop from Chick's brow onto the brass cymbals, the Count maintained an attitude of poise and self-assurance. Joe Williams toured with the band and was featured on the 1957 album One O'Clock Jump, and 1956's Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings, with "Every Day (I Have the Blues)" becoming a huge hit. After his death, his was one of the livelier ghost bands, led in turn by Thad Jones, Frank Foster, and Grover Mitchell. When the band voted Moten out, Basie took over for several months, calling the group "Count Basie and his Cherry Blossoms. Basie's band was sharing Birdland with such bebop greats as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. Those four sides were released on Vocalion Records under the band name of Jones-Smith Incorporated; the sides were "Shoe Shine Boy", "Evening", "Boogie Woogie", and "Lady Be Good". It went so well; it was so thrilling and exciting". He finished junior high school[7] but spent much of his time at the Palace Theater in Red Bank, where doing occasional chores gained him free admission to performances. Basie toured in several acts between 1925 and 1927, including Katie Krippen and Her Kiddies (featuring singer Katie Crippen) as part of the Hippity Hop show; on the Keith, the Columbia Burlesque, and the Theater Owners Bookers Association (T.O.B.A.) He joined the Bennie Moten orchestra in Kansas City, later organizing his own orchestra and performing on radio. Members: Buck Clayton, Count Basie, Don Byas, Freddie Green, Jo Jones, Walter Page. [53] Other minor movie spots followed, including Choo Choo Swing, Crazy House, Top Man, Stage Door Canteen, and Hit Parade of 1943. During its heyday, The Gong Show (1976–80) used Basie's "Jumpin' at the Woodside" during some episodes, while an NBC stagehand named Eugene Patton would dance on stage; Patton became known as "Gene Gene the Dancing Machine". Choose from Count Basie sheet music for such popular songs as The Glory of Love, Until I Met You (Corner Pocket), and Sweet Georgia Brown. [18] A few months later, he was invited to join the band, which played mostly in Texas and Oklahoma.

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