Count Basie playing at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in 1961

Count Basie playing at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in 1961

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This concert recording from 1961 shows off Count Basie’s swinging big band orchestra in all their glory.

Count Basie was one of the most famous jazz pianists and band leaders of his time. Known for his swing music, Basie formed his orchestra at the height of the Big Band Era. The band continued to tour with their classic style even as new styles of jazz like bebop, and smooth jazz, hardbop became popular in the late 50s.

In this swinging 1961 concert, in Belgium, the band plays through a lengthy setlist of standards and original compositions. Featuring Basie on the piano, Snooky Young on trumpet, Frank Wess on sax, Joe Newman on trumpet, Frank Wess on flute, Eddie Jones on bass, Freddie Green on guitar, Sonny Payn on drums, and Joe Williams on vocals. This concert was one of the last concerts featuring Joe Williams and Joe Newman as part of the band. Later in 1961, they both chose to leave the band to pursue their own solo careers.

Set List:
Who, Me?
The Midgets
Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You
Hallelujah I Love Her So
Li'l Darlin'
How High The Moon
Bag A' Bones
Blues in Frankie's Flat
Whirly Bird
Midnight Sun Never Sets

Cast & Crew

(Director), Count Basie (Self), Snooky Young (Trumpet), Frank Wess (Flute), Joe Williams (Voice), Joe Newman (Trumpet), Eddie Jones (Bass), Freddie Green (Guitar), Sonny Payne (Drums)

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