Count Basie , of its true name William Basie (August 21st 1904 - April 26th 1984) was a Pianiste, Organiste, and especially American Leader of Jazz. It incarnated the Jazz South-west: relaxation and swing absolutes.
William Basie was born with Red Bank in the New Jersey in 1904. It is initiated with the play of the piano and the organ by his mother then share in New York where it will meet Fats Waller which will form it with the " Stride ", a style of play resulting from Harlem. During this period, Bill Basie accompanies mainly the " Variety shows" in the theaters of New York.
Towards the end of the year 1920, Bill basy leaves for Kansas city where the " flower; Territory bands". After having played some time within the " Blue Devils" of the bass player Walter Page (who will be later the bass player of count Basie), it integrates the Orchestre Blessed Moten as a second pianist and arranger. It composes and arranges then several pieces of which the famous " Moten swing" who will become later the code of his orchestra. With died of Blessed Moten in 1935, Basie takes again the direction of the orchestra.
In 1936, it founds its own mainly formed orchestra of the former musicians of Blessed Moten and members of the " Blue Devils". The orchestra is joined soon by Lester Young and Hershel Evans two saxophonists tenors. The orchestra of Basie becomes the first to comprise then two saxophonists tenor. It counts then among the most brilliant soloists of the time: the saxophonists To ballast Young and Hershel Evans, the trombonist Dickie Welles, and the trumpet player Buck Clayton. The orchestra is supported by a rhythm section which will make the fame of the orchestra: Basy (which will choose the nickname of " count") with the piano, Walter Page with low, Freddie Green with the guitar and OJ Jones with the battery. Quickly, the big band of Count Basie extends its notoriety and since 1936, the business manager John Hammond convaicu of the potential of the orchestra by the listening of a radiophonic transmission undertakes to make assemble the orchestra to New York. It then uses its influence to place certain musicians in the orchestra of Basie, thus the trumpet player Harry " sweets" Edison integrates the orchestra in 1938.
The orchestra of Count Basie includes/understands then in addition to a rhythm section, a section of saxophones made up of two tenors two violas then of a baritone, a section of three trombones and a section of three trumpets. The soloist have a great importance in the orchestra, and the " joutes" solos between the two saxophonists tenors make the fame of the orchestra. Gradually, Count Basie forges a style with the piano characterized by the saving in means and a deep direction of the swing. The orchestra occurs then in the clubs New Yorkais like the " Savoy Ballroom" and singers are sometimes accompanied (Jimmy Rushing, Billie Holiday, Joe Williams). During the war, the majority of the musicians of Basie are mobilized to play in the military orchestras which support moral troops. At the end of the war, the orchestra of Count Basie east dissolves. Count Basie plays then in small formations.
In 1950, Count Basie decides to reform a big band and engages some of its former musicians to which musicians influenced by the Bop movement are added such as the trombonist Al Grey. The orchestra of Count Basie then finds the notoriety which was his before the war and plays with the largest artists of Jazz of the time: Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra… the many arrangers of the orchestra set up a play by sections, and the orchestra becomes a reference as regards installation and precision. The sections of trumpets and trombones grow rich then by additional members and the orchestra counts soon four trumpets and four trombones. Many artists join the orchestra of Count Basie: Johnny Griffin, Eddie " Lockjaw" Davis, Lyn Biviano, Raymond Reeds, Bill Hughes, Butch Miles… the orchestra knows a world famous then and takes part in the greatest world festivals. Among these performances, the concert with Sinatra with the " Sands" in Las Vegas and the service with the Jazz Festival of Montreux in 1977 remained famous. The orchestra continues its activity without slowing down, even after the death of Count Basie in April 1984. The " Count Basie Orchestra" exist always at present and counts among the most famous big bands.
The music seemed to run of itself: many blues and topics simple containing fronts, carried by a superb rhythm section and developed by soloists of exception. Its second full orchestra, as from the Fifties, informs more beautiful the arrangements (especially those of Neal Hefti and Ernie Wilkins) been useful by a perfect overall unit, but a little agreedr. With the piano, the saving in notes was the mark of the style Laconique of Basie, with the intense rhythmic capacity.
One O' Clock Jump and Jumpin' At the Woodside is its pieces more connus.
Open the Door, Richard was n°1 Hit-parade American in February 1947.
Henri Salvador borrowed the music of Lil' Darlin' for its song entitled Count Basie .
- and portrait of Count Basie on the site of RFO
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