Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Basie (and bass)

The Duke may have been the genius who added immeasurably to the repertoire of great American music, but Basie is the one who is deep in my soul. No analysis here - just some great examples that will (or should) bring a smile to your face and get your feet tapping:

This one, Basie Boogie, smokes. Gus Johnson is one of my favorite drummers, and he especially shines here.

Basie's employs ingenuous use of the rhythm section, and especially bass, in his compositions and performance. This is shown in the following clips, starting with I Don't Know with Basie, Freddie Green on guitar, Norman Keenan on bass and Sonny Payne on drums. Pay careful attention to Payne's usual antics and his incredible playing.

This one is from the 1955 Rhythm and Blues Revue and is an outstanding example of Basie's interplay with bassists (Gus Johnson has the drum chair):

This clip is another that features the rhythm section (Freddie Green, Norman Keenan and Sonny Payne.) Payne's subtle brush playing here is a departure from his usual high energy, highly visual style of playing.

Another example of Basie and his penchant for interplaying with bassists is this amazing clip with Basie and Ray Brown (Jimmie Smith is on drums):

Another duet, this time with Cleveland Eaton during the 1981 Carnegie Hall Concert:

Here is the second set from the 1955 Rhythm and Blues Review with the band doing One O'Clock Jump (see my 9 March 2010 post for more about this great song). Gus Johnson on drums is swinging, and the interplay between Freddie Green on guitar and Jimmy Lewis on bass is a highlight for me:

One final clip - this one with the original All American Rhythm Section with Papa Jo Jones, Walter Page and Freddie Green:

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