Category 1924

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part Three

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part Three

Post-war and later years

The big band era appeared to have ended after the war, and Basie disbanded the group. For a while, he performed in combos, sometimes stretched to an orchestra. In 1950, he headlined the Universal-International short film “Sugar Chile” Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and His Sextet. He reformed his group as a 16-piece orchestra in 1952. Basie credits Billy Eckstine, a top male vocalist of the time, for prompting his return to Big Band. He said that Norman Granz got them into the Birdland club and promoted the new band through recordings on the Mercury, Clef, and Verve labels. The jukebox era had begun, and Basie shared the exposure along with early rock’n’roll and rhythm and blues artists...

Read More

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part Two

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part Two

John Hammond and first recordings


Basie and band, with vocalist Ethel Waters, from the film Stage Door Canteen (1943)
At the end of 1936, Basie and his band, now billed as “Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm,” moved from Kansas City to Chicago, where they honed their repertoire at a long engagement at the Grand Terrace Ballroom. Right from the start, Basie’s band was noted for its rhythm section. Another Basie innovation was the use of two tenor saxophone players; at the time, most bands had just one. When Young complained of Herschel Evans’ vibrato, Basie placed them on either side of the alto players, and soon had the tenor players engaged in “duels”. Many other bands later adapted the split tenor arrangement.
In that city in October 1936, th...

Read More

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part One

The Life And Times Of Count Basie Part One

Count Basie

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 age 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.

Count Bas...

Read More

The Year Of 1924 In Music

The Year Of 1924 In Music

Events

February 12 – An Experiment In Modern Music concert at Aeolian Hall, New York – première of Rhapsody in Blue.
February 18 – First recordings by Bix Beiderbecke.
April – Jimmy Blythe’s recording of “Chicago Stomps”, sometimes called the first complete boogie-woogie piano solo record.
June – Alexander von Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony is premiered in Prague.
October 17 – Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No. 1, Kreutzer Sonata, is premièred in Prague
Richard Runciman Terry resigns as organist of Westminster Cathedral because of criticism of his choice of music.
Mongolia introduces a national anthem.
Summer of 1924 – Hamilton Sisters and Fordyce singing trio is formed by Pearl B. Hamilton – departing the ‘Stars of the Future’ tour.
First recor...

Read More