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  • On the Occasion of Count Bill Basie’s Birthday…

    Posted on August 21st, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    Count Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984)

    Count Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984)

    One of the most prolific and influential bands to come out of the big band era was that of Count Basie, a Kansas City outfit that could swing harder and jazzier than any of the big name bands that came before it. The Count’s band had some of the best sidemen in the jazz world riffing along, and led by Basie, those men and that band went on to become the quintessential full-sized swingin’ jazz band. From his most famous hit April in Paris to playing live at the Sands Casino with Frank Sinatra, there are few other jazzers that had such a long and exciting career as Count Basie.

    So on the Occasion of Count Bill Basie’s Birthday, here’s a few videos of the great Count Basie Band.

    One O’Clock Jump

    April in Paris

    I’ve Got You Under My Skin, with Frank Sinatra

    And my personal favorite, Corner Pocket, written by the infamous Basie band guitarist Freddy Green, a guy who never played a chord the same way twice. Listen to the execution, the perfect swinging groove these cats laid down back in 1962. The cool and swingin’ solos. The way the sections play together perfectly as to sound like a single, swingin’ horn. This one is also my favorite because I was lucky enough to have played lead tenor and tenor sax solo on this same arrangement in my college big band, 20 years ago. We, of course, were no where near as good as Basie’s band. But it felt good playing his music anyway.

    -Chris “Zoot” Pinto swingin’ from the music studio at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Count Basie, Corner Pocket

    Posted on September 21st, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tv-retro-photo A while ago I came across this video of the Count Basie Orchestra playing Corner Pocket back in 1962. If there is such thing as big band jazz perfection, this is it. Basie’s band was known for it’s exceptional combination of virtuosity and soul. This version of Corner Pocket illuminates both.

    I had the pleasure of playing lead tenor sax + solo on this arrangement in my college big band. Although nowhere near as swingin’ as Basie’s band, I’ll always be happy and proud to have swung this number in that college band.

    Sit back, pour a Manhattan, and take five to enjoy this: The Count Basie Orchestra swinging Corner Pocket (Until I Met You)