Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Good Live Basie plus Ernie Bubbles Whitman
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 04/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are recordings from Jubilee, a segregated Black oriented Jazz and comedy show broadcast to US troops during World War II. These recordings come from 1943 and 1944. Better instrumental recordings of most of the Basie band tracks here and other Basie treats are on the great Lets Jump CD which has rehearsal tapes for these performances which are recorded at a higher standard and have better selections.
What is interesting here is the live patter between Eddie Bubbles Whitman, the actually erudite and well degreed host of Jubilee with Jimmy Rushing and particularly with the rather dignified and cool voiced Basie. Whitman was a celebrity in his own right.
As a Lester Young man to the core, I really like the first four selections. In particular, Lester's solo on the slow ballad sung by Helen Humes "Call me Darling" is beautiful and subtle, but at the same time it really echoes the "bigger" sound he was attempting in the very late 30s and the pre-draft years.
(It should be noted that during the 1943 LA band stop [which included a Jubilee performance, MPs came to the nightclub Basie appeared in and forcibly took Lester Young and Joe Jones off the band stand to the US Army. Artie Shaw and Buddy Rich volunteered to replace them while the band stayed in LA. They appear on the great cuts of Lady Be Good and One O'clock Jump on Let's Jump.
The rest of the selections on this CD feature Buddy Tate and Illinois Jacquet on the Tenors. I am particularly partial to Rockaby Basie and the full version of "One O'clock Jump."
Unfortunately, this album is cluttered with the mediocrity of Ella Mae Morse singing a couple tunes with Basie Sideman. Compared to Jimmy Rushing and to the earlier Helen Humes' singing earlier on the CD, Morse's cuts illustrate the difference between a faddish pop singer with little talent imitating Jazz and Blues and the real thing.
Although I admit to be totally partial to any form of Basieism, "Futile Frustration" sounds like it escaped from one of the overly orchestrated, pseudo classical, minimal Jazz arrangements the waning Lunceford Band would do to "class up" their act. It is too bad, that Basie Boogie or Jumpin at the Woodside as done on the rehearsal sides on Lets Jump were is not there.