Following on from 'The Band of Distinction',(2CDs,) this collection is truly magnificent. 4 CD's containing the momentous Basie and his band with the best of the singers and players around.
1)'The Atomic Mister Basie':1958. Compositions from Neil Hefti. This is a real blast from 'The Kid From the Redbank'. Take any of the pieces. The delights of 'Lil'Darlin through to the 'Duet' between Joe Newman(t) and Thad Jones). 'Flight of the Foo Birds' and 'After Supper' with Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis(ts) in supreme form. Frank Wess's alto on 'Fantail' nail a brilliant disc. Turn up the volume! Some say Basie's last great recording. Up for discussion.
2)'Basie Plays Hefti': 1958. An inevitable follow up to the success of 'The Atomic'. Originally released on Columbia. 'Pony Tail', 'Sloo Foot' and Count Down' stand out. The characteristic swing is there with the rhythm section exemplary. Personnel basically same as 1) above.
3)'Chairman of The Board':1958. A fine example of the period. No doubt the rivalries with Ellington continued. The trumpet section remains strong and dominating. Snooky Young, Thad Jones, added with the trombones of Al Grey and Coker are sublime. The solos are superb. 'Shoe Shine Boy', 'Moten Swing', Mutt and Jeff'. All wonderful.
4)'Breakfast Dance and Barbecue':1959. Quality from the small group tracks to the larger ensemble. Worthwhile for the final 'One O'Clock Jump' with guest Harry Eddison(t). Wish I could have been there. The setting was a Miami Dance convention. An amusing ensemble vocal performance 'In a Mellow Tone', driven by Sonny Payne (d). Full of atmosphere. Joe williams(v) is on top form.
5)'Basie and Eckstein':1959. Eckstein was one of those 'like him or not singers'. Fronting Basie added to his kudos. The smooth Eckstein on ('Passing Srangers with Sarah Vaughan was a mammoth hit), may pass other listeners with his fronting Basie. 'Stormy Monday Blues' and Lonesome Lover Blues' perhaps give the overall theme of the disc. Plenty to enjoy.
6&7)'Basie Swings,Bennett Sings' 1959 and 'In Person' (with Tony Bennett): 1959. Pointless commenting on them separately. Tony Bennett is still singing at age 85+. These 50's recordings with a top-notch Basie band are sublime. Seeing him with Basie in the flesh in the 60's and 70's are truly memorable. Ralph Sharon is on piano on some recordings (Bennett's arranger). Tony flexes his repertoire whether small band or the full works. 'Just In Time', 'Chicago', 'Solitude', 'Firefly'. All professionally performed by a master in front of a bang-on band. 8)'Everyday I Have The Blues':1959. Rhythm and Blues to Jazz. I think Big Joe Williams was a great singer for Basie. More blues-orientated, perhaps. He was not such an individual as Bennett or Sinatra in fronting Basie, but complemented the grand group. The title is wonderful (prefer Jimmy Witherspoon's version, however) but 'It's a Low Down Dirty Shame', and 'Ain't no Use' are sure fire winner's.
All I can say about this collection is to buy it. The basement price gives penthouse music. Nothing else to add. Brilliant as is the sound.
Eight Albums spread over 4 CDs makes this collection an excellent way to acquire a good collection on CD where as before you may have them on LPs. The Real Gone Jazz label has garnered some really good reviews for sound quality. The digitally enhanced sound is a good indicator but for a proper review I really suggest you read other, more knowledgeable people's reviews. The collection is on 4 CDs encased in a double wide jewel case.
The Cds do not list the albums nor the track listings so this list may help.
CD 1: THE ATOMIC MR BASIE (1958): 1. Kid From Red Bank 2.39 2. Duet 4.09 3. After Supper 3.22 4. Flight Of The Foo Birds 3.20 5. Double O 2.43 6. Teddy The Toad 3.16 7. Whirlybirds 3.48 8. Midnight Blue 4.25 9. Splanky 3.33 10. Fantail 2.53 11. Lil' Darlin' 4.47
BASIE PLAYS HEFTI (1958): 12. Has Anyone Here Seen Basie 2.41 13. Cute 3.10 14. Pensive Miss 3.48 15. Sloo Foot 3.06 16. It's Awf'lly Nice To Be With You 3.32 17. Scoot 2.27 18. A Little Tempo, Please 2.35 19. Late Date 3.16 20. Countdown 2.45 21. Bag A Bones 2.41 22. Pony Tail 2.58
CD 2: CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD (1958): 1. Blues In Hoss Flat 3.11 2. HRH (Her Royal Highness) 2.37 3. Segue In C 6.11 4. Kansas City Shout 3.31 5. Tv Time 3.14 6. Who, Me? 5.11 7. The Deacon 4.47 8. Half Moon Street 3.23 9. Mutt And Jeff 3.36 10. Fair And Warmer 3.32 11. Moten Swing 4.48 BREAKFAST DANCE AND BARBEQUE (1958): 12. In A Mellow Tone 6.50 13. 5 O'clock In The Morning 2.51 14. Counter Block 4.33 15. Who Me 3.54 16. Let's Have A Taste 4.16 17. Moten Swing 5.14 18. Hallelujah, I Love You So 2.36 19. One O'clock Jump 3.42
CD 3: BASIE AND ECKSTINE INC (1959): 1. Stormy Monday Blues 3.10 2. Lonesome Lover Blues 3.09 3. Blues, The Mother Of Sin 3.40 4. Jelly, Jelly 3.02 5. Don't Cry Baby 3.32 6. Trav'lin All Alone 2.54 7. Little Mama 3.29 8. I Want A Little Girl 3.25 9. Drifting 3.59 10. Song Of The Wanderer 3.21 11. Piano Man 4.05 BASIE SWINGS BENNETT SINGS (1959): 12. Life Is A Song 2.51 13. With Plenty Of Money And You 1.31 14. Jeepers Creepers 2.06 15. Are You Havin' Any Fun 2.45 16. Anything Goes 2.19 17. Strike Up The Band 1.31 18. Chicago 2.05 19. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face 3.01 20. Poor Little Rich Girl 3.30 21. Growing Pains 3.33 22. I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plans 1.41
CD 4: IN PERSON (with TONY BENNETT) (1959): 1. Just In Time 1.40 2. When I Fall In Love 2.15 3. Taking A Chance On Love 1.52 4. Without A Song 3.03 5. Fascinating Rhythm 1.26 6. (In My) Solitude 3.33 7. Pennies From Heaven 2.30 8. Lost In The Stars 3.57 9. Firefly 1.36 10. There Will Never Be Another You 3.13 11. Lullaby Of Broadway 3.10 12. Ol' Man River 4.59 EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES (with JOE WILLIAMS) (1959): 13. Everyday I Have The Blues 4.41 14. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home 1.56 15. Going To Chicago 4.07 16. Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You 2.28 17. It's A Low Down Dirty Shame 5.24 18. Shake Rattle And Roll 2.11 19. Just A Dream 2.51 20. Cherry Red 2.50 21. Good Mornin' Blues 2.48 22. Ain't No Use 2.54
I have all of these albums on LP and some also on CD so don't need this box myself, but I am buying this set as a Christmas present for a friend who is discovering Big Band (and liking it). The line-up varies in some respects, particularly in the brass but the wonderful rhythm section is a constant which "authenticates" the Basie sound. The 1930s rhythm sectio of Basie, Jo Jones, Freddy Green and Walter Page was wonderful and the 50s one met the standard (after all Basie and green were 50% of each). I recommend this to anybody as an introduction to the timeless riches of this wonderful outfit.
Fantastic collection of Albums on 4 CDs. Band personnel listed and the remastering is of excellent quality. I certainly would recommend this (especially at such a low cost) to all Big Band and Basie lovers.
Out of the 8 albums 7 are outstanding, only the Bill Eckstine collaboration disappoints. The Tony Bennett albums are superb and there is plenty of Neil Hefti arrangements for those who love that era of Basie. Great music, reall swing, great value.
What a wonderful set - and a bargain at just over £1 an album! Everything that made the Basie band great is here. Thad Jones up there in the stratosphere, Freddie Green strumming away as only Freddie did, the Count's 'economical' piano and all the other factors that made the band the greatest when it comes to both the up-tempo and the ballad. What every your views are on digital remastering of recording made 50 years or more, its the music thhat, er, 'Counts'. The music and performances on this 8-album set are top draw.
If you only buy one set of Basie's output, this is the one to get. A wide range of his work, with some absolutely cracking pieces. Bound to be the odd one or two that aren't quite so hot, but otherwise well worth getting, especially at the price.
This collection has brought back so many happy memories. It has been many years since I have heard many of these numbers. I had a number of these albums years ago its been good to renew old acquaintances.