Count Basie

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Count Basie's Wikipedia Entry



William James "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 - April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By 16 he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924 he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten's death in 1935. That year Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing...

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Dec 15, 2016. 9:50am
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Jul 2, 2014. 7:58pm
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Aug 6, 2009. 12:58pm
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On Aug 6, 2009. 12:58pm

You can't go past the count for solid swing Jazz

On May 11, 2011. 10:47am
Christopher Lynch said

Yes indeed. Swing the Count sure did! Being a cornerstone of 'The All-American Rythym Section', alongside Freddie Green, Walter Page and probably the world's most innovative hi-hat using drummer - Papa Joe Jones, he couldn't miss. Possibly Basie's greatest contribution - like that of Woody Herman - was the fact that his band offered opportunities for other gifted musicians to gain experience and recognition, as the biographical information correctly indicates. The history of The Basie Band is in itself fascinating, as I believe - I hope correctly - that it morphed via The Kansas City Blue Devils, to the Benny Moten Band and finally fell under the leadership of the Count himself. (I'll be interested to read any other comments on this subject from other contributors.)

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