Complete Basie-Hefti Studio Sessions 1951-1962 (3 LP on 2 CD)
  • Roulette 52003
    Roulette 52003
  • Roulette 52011
    Roulette 52011
  • Verve V6-8511
    Verve V6-8511
  • Basie & Hefti
    Basie & Hefti

Count Basie

Complete Basie-Hefti Studio Sessions 1951-1962 (3 LP on 2 CD)

Fresh Sound Records

Personnel:
Count Basie (p, lead), Clark Terry, Joe Newman, Snooky Young, Thad Jones, Wendell Culley, Al Porcino, Lamar Wright, Charlie Shavers, Joe Wilder (tp), Johnny Mandel (b-tp), Booty Wood, Al Grey, Henry Coker, Grover Mitchell, Benny Powell (tb), Marshall Royal, Bill Graham, Ernie Wilkins, Paul Quinichette, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson, Billy Mitchell, Charlie Fowlkes (reeds), Freddie Green (g), Eddie Jones, Jimmy Lewis, Buddy Catlett (b), Sonny Payne, Gus Johnson (d), Neal Hefti (arr)

Reference: FSRCD 777

Bar code: 8427328607773

For years arrangers tried to capture the unique, free-wheeling spirit of the early Count Basie band. Eventually, the old spontaneity of the bristling heads surrendered to the creativity of young arrangers like Neal Hefti, who scored the entire performances included in this set. Hefti, who achieved success in commercial popular music and in jazz, was in jazz terms indelibly associated with the new Count Basie Orchestra of the 50s.

From 1951 to 1956, when Basie recorded mainly for the Clef and Verve labels, Heftis subtle compositions eased Basies band evolution into a new, rather stylized ensemble sound, with a solid, forceful rhythmic pulse. The Basie-Hefti collaboration reached its peak in the 1957-58 Roulette albums, "The Atomic Mr. Basie" and "Basie Plays Hefti," with the band a precise yet vigorously expressive unit operating impressively on Heftis originals, replete with soloists who could speak with more authority than many of their big band counterparts. Never before had Basies band been better recorded, the thrill and full potential of its sound caught on tape. And when Basie returned to Verve in 1962, Hefti again provided him with a new set of typically varied arrangements for "On My Way & Shoutin' Again," the last album in a long-lived, memorable and thoroughly craftsmanlike collaboration.



CD 1
01. Little Pony 2:27
02. Sure Thing 3:00
03. Why Not? 3:28
04. Fancy Meetin You 3:00
05. Jive at Five 3:07
06. Every Tub 2:48
07. Plymouth Rock 3:41
08. Bubbles 3.58
09. Softly with Feeling 3:05
10. Cherry Point 3:18
11. You for Me 3:09
12. Two for the Blues 2:47
13. Ska-Di-Dle-Dee-Bee-Doo 3:34
14. Two Franks 3:14
15. Dinner with Friends 3:04
16. Lollypop 3:05
17. Flight of the Foo Birds 3:19
18. Double-O 2:43
19. Whirly-Bird 3:47
20. Duet 4:10
21. The Kid from Red Bank 2:38
22. Midnite Blue 4:25
23. Teddy the Toad 3:16
24. Fantail 2:53

CD 2
01. Li'l Darlin' 4:48
02. Splanky 3:33
03. After Supper 3:23
04. Pensive Miss 3:47
05. Bag a Bones 2:42
06. Has Anyone Here Seen Basie? 2:41
07. Scoot 2:28
08. Sloo Foot 3:06
09. Pony Tail 2:58
10. Late Date 3:16
11. A Little Tempo, Please 2:35
12. Count Down 2:45
13. It's Awf'ly Nice to Be with You 3:32
14. Cute 3:10
15. Rose Bud 3:37
16. I'm Shouting Again 3:47
17. Ducky Bumps 3:32
18. The Long Night 3:41
19. Jump for Johnny 3:15
20. Ain't That Right 2:48
21. Together Again 2:42
22. Shanghaied 3:30
23. Skippin' with Skitch 3:59
24. Eee Dee 3:02

Album details

All tracks composed and arranged by Neal Hefti, except CD 1 #5 by Edison-Basie, and #6 by Durham-Basie

Sources CD-1:
Track #1, from Columbia 39406, 78rpm
Track #2, from Mercury/Clef 8964, 78 pm
Tracks #3 & 4, from Mercury/Clef 8988, 78rpm
Track #5, from Clef EPC132, 45rpm
Track #6, from Mercury/Clef 8987, 78rpm
Track #7, from Clef EPC-229, 45rpm
Track #8, from Clef EPC-220, 45rpm
Track #9, from Clef 89112, 78rpm
Track #10, from Clef 89120, 78rpm
Track #11, from Clef 89126, 78rpm
Track #12, from Clef 89131, 78rpm
Track #13, from Clef 89146, 78rpm
Track #14, from Clef EPC-364, 45rpm
Track #15, from the album "April in Paris" (Verve MGV 8012)
Track #16, from the album "Hall of Fame" (Verve MGV 8291)
Tracks #17-24, from the album "The Atomic Mr. Basie" (Roulette 52003)

Sources CD-2:
Tracks #1-3, from the album "The Atomic Mr. Basie" (Roulette 52003)
Tracks #4-14, from the album "Basie Plays Hefti" (Roulette 52011)
Tracks #15-24, from the album "On My Way & Shoutin' Again" (Verve V6/8511)

Note: Although some discographies mention that The Late, Late Show (recorded October 22, 1957) was composed and arranged by Neal Hefti, it was actually written by Murray Berlin and Roy Alfred, and there is no evidence that Hefti was the arranger.

Personnel on CD 1

Track #1: Al Porcino, Lamar Wright, Clark Terry, Bob Mitchell, trumpets; Mitchell Booty Wood, Leon Comegys, Matthew Gee, trombones; Marshall Royal, Rubin Phillips, alto saxes; Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson, tenor saxes; Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Jimmy Lewis, bass; Gus Johnson, drums.
Recorded in New York City, April 10, 1951

Tracks #2,3,4: Paul Campbell, Joe Newman, Charlie Shavers, Wendell Culley, trumpets; Henry Coker, Benny Powell, Jimmy Wilkins, trombones; Marshall Royal, clarinet & alto sax; Ernie Wilkins, alto & tenor sax; Floyd Candy Johnson, Paul Quinichette, tenor saxes; Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Jimmy Lewis, bass; Gus Johnson, drums.
Recorded in New York City, January 19, 1952

Tracks #5,6: Omit Benny Powell, Jimmy Wilkins, Marshall Royal, Ernie Wilkins, Floyd Candy Johnson and Charlie Fowlkes on #5.
Recorded on January 25, 1952

Track #7: Reunald Jones, Joe Newman, Paul Campbell, Wendell Culley, trumpets; Johnny Mandel, bass trumpet; Henry Coker, Benny Powell, trombones; Marshall Royal, clarinet & alto sax; Ernie Wilkins, alto & tenor sax; Frank Wess, Frank Foster, tenor saxes; Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Eddie Jones, bass; Gus Johnson, drums.
Recorded in Los Angeles, August 13, 1953

Track #8,9,10: Joe Wilder, trumpet & Henderson Chambers, trombone, replace Campbell & Mandel.
Recorded at Fine Sound Studios, New York City, December 12, 1953

Tracks #11,12: Thad Jones, trumpet, and Bill Hughes, trombone, replace Wilder and Chambers.
Recorded at Fine Sound Studios, New York City, August 16 1954

Tracks #13,14: Bill Hughes, replaces Basie on #13.
Recorded at Fine Sound Studios, New York City, August 17, 1954

Tracks #15,16: Bill Graham, alto sax, and Sonny Payne, drums, replace Wilkins and Johnson.
Recorded at Fine Sound Studios, New York City, January 5 & June 27, 1956

Tracks #17-24: Snooky Young, Joe Newman, Thad Jones, Wendell Culley, trumpets; Henry Coker, Benny Powell, Al Grey, trombones; Marshall Royal, clarinet & alto sax; Frank Wess, flute, alto & tenor sax; Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Frank Foster, tenor saxes; Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Eddie Jones, bass; Sonny Payne, drums.
Recorded in New York City, October 21 (#17-23) & 22 (#24), 1957

Personnel on CD 2

Tracks #1-3: Snooky Young, Joe Newman, Thad Jones, Wendell Culley, trumpets; Henry Coker, Benny Powell, Al Grey, trombones; Marshall Royal, clarinet & alto sax; Frank Wess, flute, alto & tenor sax; Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Frank Foster, tenor saxes; Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Eddie Jones, bass; Sonny Payne, drums.
Recorded in New York City, October 21 (#1) & 22 (#2,3), 1957

Tracks #4-14: Billy Mitchell, tenor sax replaces Eddie Lockjaw Davis.
Recorded in New York City, April 3 (#4-7), 4 (#8-10) & 14 (#11-14), 1958

Tracks #15-24: Thad Jones, Sonny Cohn, Al Aarons, Flip Ricard, Ernie Royal, trumpets; Henry Coker, Grover Mitchell, Benny Powell, trombones; Marshall Royal, alto sax & flute; Frank Wess, alto & tenor saxes, flute; Eric Dixon, tenor sax & flute; Frank Foster, tenor sax; Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax & flute; Count Basie, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Buddy Catlett, bass; Sonny Payne, drums.
Recorded in New York City, Nov. 2,3 & 5, 1962

Original cover photos / designs by Arnold Meyers, Chuck Stewart, Roy Decarava

Original recordings produced by Norman Granz (Clef and Verve on CD-1); Teddy Reig (Roulette) and Jim Davis (Verve CD-2)
This compilation produced for CD by Jordi Pujol

Mono / Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.

Press reviews

-The Atomic Basie

The release of this album in late 1957 marked the beginning of a glorious new phase in Count Basie's career. Signed to Roulette Records, the newly formed label owned by Morris Levy, the New York recording entrepreneur, jukebox mogul, club owner, and quasi-underworld figure, it took Basie's core audience and a lot of other people by surprise, as a bold, forward-looking statement within the context of a big-band recording -- if not as daring as what Duke Ellington had done at Newport in 1956, still a reminder that there was room for fresh, even dazzling improvisation (especially courtesy of Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis's contribution) within the framework of a big-band jazz unit. The band and its key members were all "on" for these two days of sessions, and Neal Hefti's arrangements gave all concerned a chance to show what they could do. Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, stands out from the get-go with his solo on "Flight of the Foo Birds," a rewriting of "Give Me the Simple Life" on which the tenor-man shares the stage with Thad Jones's trumpet solo, but nearly knock Jones off that same stage with his pyrotechnics. Davis plunges into new territory, defining the Basie "Atomic" period with his solo on "Whirly-Birds" (originally less aptly titled "Roller Coaster"), which soars into the air on his break. Joe Newman and Thad Jones's muted trumpets are the featured instruments on "Duet." "The Kid From Red Bank" offers an unusual showcase for Basie himself at the piano, playing the least number of notes possible to surprise and bedazzle the listener, while "Li'l Darlin'" offers the Basie band's answer to Ellington's "Mood Indigo."

Bruce Eder -All Music Guide


-Basie Plays Hefti

"The Count Basie Orchestra was in top form for this set of Neal Hefti arrangements. Hefti had been one of the main architects of the new Basie sound of the '50s and on this memorable date he utilizes the flute of Frank Wess prominently. "Cute" (heard here in its initial recording) became a standard."

Scott Yanow -All Music Guide


-On My Way & Shoutin' Again

"Basie Plays Hefti. While none of these selections is as famous as his songs like "Cute," "Little Pony," "Splanky," "Li'l Darlin'," and "Repetition," the substantial originality of this music is hard to deny, not to mention that the expert musicians playing his music bring these tracks fully to life in a livelier fashion than most laid-back Basie studio sessions. In fact, it has the feeling of a concert date that trumps the more clean, controlled environment of a session that was recorded on a three-track reel-to-reel. There's also plenty of room for exceptional solos from most of the participants, as Hefti is mindful of who is in the band and how each musician might sound when given his head. This is tried and true swing-oriented modern big-band music that actually sounds advanced for its time frame, and is solid as anything Basie has done post-"April in Paris." The band is atypically bold and brazen on the opener, "I'm Shoutin' Again," with Frank Wess on alto (not tenor) sax for his spirited solo. The great chart of "Jump for Johnny" is a hard bopper for Johnny Carson, basic Basie with tenor saxophonist Frank Foster and trumpeter Sonny Cohn trading licks. Hefti's best work is showcased during "Together Again," as the hopping brass and singing horns take tuneful twists and turns. This set also includes the classic track "The Long Night," a famous blues featuring the sly flute of Wess in front of the horn section and a masterful muted solo by trumpeter Thad Jones. There are other tunes that are derivative, as you can clearly hear the borrowed phrases of "C Jam Blues"/"Duke's Place" in the low-key then blasted-out "Eee Dee," "Shiny Stockings" sprinkled about during the more typical laid-back "Rose Bud," and "Groove Merchant" or "Hallelujah, I Just Love Him So" in the easy-swinging soul groove of "Ain't That Right." Hefti's movie soundtrack experience comes to the fore on "Shanghaied," definite spy music with Cohn's muted trumpet masking phobias and paranoia. There are two cute tunes: "Skippin' with Skitch," led by three flutes (Wess, Eric Dixon, and Charlie Fowlkes); and the lightly strutting "Ducky Bumps," featuring Henry Coker's trombone, with brief solos from Basie's piano and bassist Buddy Catlett. A solid and worthwhile album that has been out of print for far too long, this will be a welcome addition to any Basie lover's collection, and comes highly recommended to anyone even mildly interested in excellent large-ensemble mainstream jazz."

Michael G. Nastos -All Music Guide

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