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Produced by Norman Granz and originally issued on its Clef label in two separate albums, this recordings represents the rebirth of the Count Basie orchestra, a sometimes stomping, something smoothly sailing, but always swinging study in ensemble playing that is as fresh and danceable today as it was in the 50s. The main characteristic of the new orchestra Basie put together in 1952 was its change in focus, from being based on soloists to projecting an overall sound, thus returning to the origins of the big bands.
01. Straight Life (Johnny Mandel) 4:33
02. Basie Goes Wess (Frank Wess) 3:55
03. Softly With Feeling (Neal Hefti) 3:08
04. Peace Pipe (Ernie Wilkins) 2:30
05. Blues Go Away! (Ernie Wilkins) 3:22
06. Cherry Point (Neal Hefti) 3:20
07. Bubbles (Neal Hefti) 4:00
08. Right On (Freddie Green) 2:40
09. The Blues Done Come Back (Ernie Wilkins) 3:38
10. Plymouth Rock (Neal Hefti) 3:44
11. Stereophonic (Ernie Wilkins) 2:25
12. Mambo Mist (Pat Chico Barnes) 4:07
13. Sixteen Men Swinging (Ernie Wilkins) 3:05
14. She's Just My Size (Ernie Wilkins) 4:31
15. You're Not The Kind (Count Basie) 3:19
16. I Feel Like A New Man (Manny Albam) 2:55
17. You For Me (Neal Hefti) 3:12
18. Soft Drink (Renauld Jones) 3:08
19. Two For The Blues (Neal Hefti) 2:50
20. Slow But Sure (Manny Albam) 3:45
21. Blues Backstage (Frank Foster) 4:36 *
22. Rails (Gillespie-Harding) 5:57 *
(*) Bonus Tracks
Tracks # 1-10, originally issued as "Dance Session" (Clef MGC 626)
Tracks # 11-20, originally issued as "Dance Session, Vol. 2" (Clef MGC 647)
Collective personnel includes:
Paul Campbell, Wendell Culley, Joe Newman, Renauld Jones (tp), Johnny Mandel (b-tp), Henry Coker, Jimmy Wilkins, Benny Powell (tb), Marshall Royal (as, cl), Ernie Wilkins (as, ts), Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Paul Quinichette (ts), Charlie Fowlkes (bs), Count Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Jimmy Lewis, Eddie jones (b), Gus Johnson (d).
Arrangements by Manny Albam,Frank Foster, Freddie Green, Buster Harding, Neal Hefti, Johnny Mandel, Nat Pierce, Frank Wess and Ernie Wilkins.
Recorded between New York and Los Angeles, in 1952, 1953 & 1954