Synopsis by Nathan Southern
As one who wrote the rules of jazz - alongside such notables as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane- the bandleader Count Basie's gift was somewhat distinct. It lay in using his band as a musical instrument per se and defining a wholly unique sound. Some seventy years after his initial rise to prominence, it would be difficult to overestimate Basie's influence on subsequent jazz musicians; decades later, his sound and style are often imitated but seldom perfectly achieved. The home release Count Basie: The Sound of Swing features vintage footage of Basie leading his big band in a series of live performances. The numbers performed here include "I Don't Know," "Handful of Keys," "Untitled Blues," "Squeeze Me," and "Twenty Minutes After Three." The release is a part of the Empire home video label's Stars of Jazz series, other volumes of which focus on Lester Young, B.B. King, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis.
bandleader, Big-Band, concert-footage, jazz