Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bennie Moten 1930-1932
Genres: Jazz, Classic Rock
Listen to Samples
Good music, roots of Basie, Basie even sings on this one!
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 04/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are a lot of Bennie Moten packages out there. They seem mainly divided between the descendants of the different record companies Moten recorded for--sometimes more than one at a time as was not uncommon in the 1920s. These last few years of recording are what you want if you are interested, as I am, in the band for what it says about Baseism.
Basie, Walter Page, Eddie Durham, Jimmie Rushing, Ben Webster, Hot Lips Page all were gathered in a group that was Moten's great rival, The Oklahoma Blue Devils led by Walter Page. When the 1929 hard times hit the Devils and they started losing gigs, getting stranded on tours,etc, Band members started leaving. The more successful Moten hired Basie first, then Durham, then everyone including leader Walter Page.
Besides the ace musicianship of the Blue Devils, the adhesion of Basie and Durham brought their great arranging skill to Moten, and gave them a larger platform to perform on.
I would also guess from listening to the before and after music, that younger men from a newer group pushed the Moten Orchestra closer in the direction of Swing.
My favorite music here are the last pieces from Moten Swing on. They were recorded later and disclose a band that is becoming unified around the concepts that Durham, Basie, and Page brought them, moving away from two-beat swing toward four beat swing.
My favorite piece is the Durham-Basie Arranged Moten Swing which has since become a Jazz Standard. Basie used it as his theme song until One O'clock Jump became a big hit whenthat was adopted. So I have heard a lot of Basie recordings of Moten swing from the 1930s, the 1940s, and fromthe new band of the 1950s and 1960s. However, I have never heard a version that was as much fun and as satisfying and as sharpely performed as the original version with Moten arranged by Eddie Durham.
Toby and Lafayette also burn. Jimmie Rushing is also on-hand through the album with magnificent blues and ballad vocals.
His only vocal rival on this CD is a guy named Bill Basie. That's right, on Somebody Stole My Gal, BASIE DOES A VOCAL SCAT SOLO. COUNT BASIE SINGS!
As you should know, when Moten died, Basie became leader of the band. It isn't exactly true that this band was the immediate ancestor of the Count Basie orchestra. In the year or two between Moten's death and Basie's going east there were a few other break downs and hook ups, but basically this is the core, the last recorded core before the Basie band emerges in 1937 in Chicago and New York and starts recording on Decca.
BTW this music is good fun. If it had been recorded by a bunch of teenagers in the suburbs of Los Angeles last month, it would still be worth listening to.
Kansas City Swing at its best
David W. Drake | Atlanta, GA, USA | 09/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra is little known today. They deserve to be better known, if only for (a) the fact that they formed the nucleus of Count Basie's band and (b) four or so sides cut in, I believe, December 1932. One of these is "Moten Swing" and having it on CD is worth the price of this collection by itself. Even Basie's later version with his own band pales in comparison with this, where he is the pianist only. There is a great story that goes with the session. Don't know if the story is true or not, but track down the story and then listen to "Moten Swing." It'll be good for your soul."