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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 August 2008
At a time when the price of petrol, energy and food seem to be totally out of control, it's good to find great music at a bargain price. At budget price, this two-disc compilation of Basie's best selects four celebrated albums, with APRIL IN PARIS (1956) not only honing in on that classic song but grabbing SHINY STOCKINGS amongst its ten tracks. KING OF SWING (1954) grabs no less than five Neal Hefti compositions like CHERRY POINT, BUBBLES and YOU FOR ME in order to feature the efforts of the best soloists, with the album's ultimate success immediately pointing the way forward for Basie's ongoing style. THE ATOMIC MR. BASIE released in 1957 utilises the mono version for both technical and artistic reasons and THE KID FROM RED BANK, SPANKY and MIDNITE BLUE are all reasons why this just has to be one of the best band albums of all time. Finally, that terrific vocalist Joe Williams vocally fronts the Orchestra on THE GREATEST! - COUNT BASIE PLAYS; JOE WILLIAMS SINGS STANDARDS with THOU SWELL, S'WONDERFUL and THIS CAN'T BE LOVE amongst a programme of swinging numbers with OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY and bluesy COME RAIN OR COME SHINE slowing down the pace ever so slightly. It's just so difficult to pick favourites from this 1956 album which is a cracker and swings to the hilt thanks to Buddy Bregman's great arrangements adding their ultimate ingredient.

Great music! Great price! Don't let this one slip away!
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on 5 April 2017
As described and on time.
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on 23 July 2009
I agree with the previous reviewers regarding the excellent playing on these four albums on the double CD. It takes me back to when I was in my teens in the 1950s and saw the band in its amazing live performances.
Unfortunately the Cds are spoilt for me by the sound (on the three mono albums) which is much too shrill, notably when the trumpets come in.This is a fault apparent on a few 1950s jazz albums remastered a bit too zealously for sharpness. The stereo Joe Williams tracks, however, have a much more listenable quality. I still have the original "April In Paris" and "Atomic Basie" LPs and to me the sound is much mellower and full.
But hey, given the knockdown price of this double album its unbelievable value!
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Chronologically, this compilation begins with the "King of Swing" album, which dates from soon after Basie's assembly of his second big band. That's preceded on the first CD by "April In Paris" which it would be hard to improve upon as an opener. This is of course the original 10-track album, omitting the seven alternate takes which were included in the Verve reissue. Similarly, "The Atomic Mr. Basie" is the unaugmented Roulette album, presented here in the mono version. Neal Hefti's arrangements provided the opportunity for everyone to shine, of which Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis in particular took full advantage. "The Greatest" (the follow-up to Joe Williams' outstanding debut album with Basie) concentrated on standards and proved to be a worthy successor. This is a superb package which should appeal to all lovers of big band jazz.
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on 4 December 2008
Some of Basie's best studio albums from 1953-57, on two cds. Superb value, excellent sound quality and original liner notes preserved.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 December 2008
Avid is continuing its practice of reissuing four classic LP albums on double CD sets, complete with the original liner notes. This Count Basie compilation gathers together the King Of Swing album from 1953, April In Paris from 1955/56, the 1956 Joe Williams vocals on The Greatest!! and The Atomic Mr. Basie from 1957 (this is not the Complete Atomic Basie, but nor does it claim to be).
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on 5 January 2010
Count Basie is just so great, and sounds so fresh & modern even after all these years. What a giant!
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on 27 February 2014
The previous reviewers Positive comments are all well founded but from the earliest
'90s CD release it was arbitrarily decided to use the Mono master because the
Stereo was too extreme (Rhythm on one channel - Band on the other). This was a cop out for me since I would have preferred this configuration! Those wishing the Mono mode could probably have adjusted thir Amplifiers accordingly!
Another thought - why can't the Whizz kids spend a little time and energy in Re-Mastering for a better Stereo configeration on this Important session.
It would be a good marketing ploy for a reissue as well!
(some years ago the music from an old Glen Miller featured movie had the soundtrack split up in such a way as to produce an excellent Stereo result released on LP).
The music is still Top class, nevertheless.
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on 28 November 2011
Count Basie's orchestration was exceptional. My husband has always enjoyed listening to his music and was fortunate to see him perform live back in 1970 at Bristol. Also he was keen to have "Atomic Mr Basie" in his collection.
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on 1 April 2012
This CD is a truly great bargain. For just over £1 an album you get 4 great original albums with fantastic sound quality.
Hope to buy more from this label :)
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