Very few jazz musicians can duplicate the light, buoyant swing of Count Basie. His understated style never interfered with soloists; instead he gave them the freedom to tell their musical stories. Basie's dedication to the blues never faltered in his over 50 years on the bandstand, and there are dozens of CDs available that document that. These are but two of Basie's endearing legacies.
Basie formed the Kansas City 7 in 1936, but with the success of his big band orchestras, he didn't call out this band again until 1962 (the year this album was recorded). By then, many of the original members had either passed away or were busy with other projects. Undaunted, Basie used many of his musicians from his then-current big band to reform the Kansas City 7. This set includes invaluable versions of Gershwin's "Oh, Lady Be Good" and Sammy Cahn's "Shoe Shine Boy". Originals by flutist Frank Wess and trumpeter Thad Jones round out this recording.
Q - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...The biggest virtue is that in this exposed context, you get a lot more of Basie's inimitable keys, and a gentle bebop influence is engagingly noticeable."
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