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Jackie Wilson and...Count Basie???

Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:46 am

I came upon this album rather by accident this evening. I thought I knew the Basie LP discography pretty well, but this one is new to me. Does anyone happen to know it or have heard it? It's an intriguing mix of singer and band, but I wonder if it can also be a successful one? There is a track or two on youtube, but it seems from these not be a meeting in the middle in order to incorporate both styles (in the way the Sinatra, Crosby, Ella etc albums were), but Wilson singing in his way with the Basie band not sounding like the Basie band at all. A very odd pairing!

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Re: Jackie Wilson and...Count Basie???

Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:23 am

poormadpeter wrote: There is a track or two on youtube, but it seems from these not be a meeting in the middle in order to incorporate both styles (in the way the Sinatra, Crosby, Ella etc albums were), but Wilson singing in his way with the Basie band not sounding like the Basie band at all.



This one works the best, love those trumpets.
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Re: Jackie Wilson and...Count Basie???

Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:41 am

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with the results, but you just wonder....why? Why not use any old band if you're not going to at least meet their sound halfway? There's nothing remotely Basie like in what I've heard of the album so far.

Of course, lots of jazz artists were floundering in the late 60s and not really sure of their next move. Ella Fitzgerald wandered from label to label for around six years, and Basie turned to short versions of standards in his regular albums that rarely give any chance for the band or a soloist to take off. Dizzy Gillespie was experimenting with adding a soul sound to his efforts - with entertaining results on occasions - but no-one really heard the albums. Even the prolific Duke Ellington went through the whole of 1969 without issuing a record.

All of these would find their feet again in 1972 with Norman Granz's formation of Pablo Records, a label that allow the performers to do what they were best at...and experiment a little. Basie would make a series of intimate jam-style albums without the big band, which are as delightful as anything he recorded during his long career. No doubt Ellington would have done the same had he not passed away in 1974 - his final album seems him in a quartet setting. Ella Fitzgerald would finally be allowed to show just what a great jazz singer she was after often being tied to Sinatra-like arrangements of standards while at Verve. And Oscar Peterson would make a wonderful series of records, often pairing him up with other jazz greats such as Ella or Dizzy or 5 wonderful albums of duets with Count Basie.