For Collectors Only
Lawrence Beymer | Terre Haute, Indiana | 06/19/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Two impressions: first, the use of the electric bass is annoying, and two, all of these cuts sound alike! The Basie band is known for its rhythm section, and this one is not very good. Albums are known for diversity; this one has little. Add to your collection only if you are a Basie nut."
Fancy Pants fit just right
Joel Lindow | thornton, Co. | 06/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All I can say is WOW! The last album Count Basie recorded before his passin away. And it is phenomenol! Among all jazz musicians out there Count Basie had to be the best and hard groovin' layed back swing charts. And every once and a while he threw in a nice upbeat song to catch you off guard. Songs on this album make you feel the groove that Basie was putting out. Songs like "Blue Chip" that have a very unique melody and an amazing backbeat. Amd even the song "Strike Up The Band" is a great Basie arangement of the original gershwin peice. This is one of my favorite albums in my collection of very diverse music and if you give it a chance I'm sure it will be one you enjoy as well."
State of the art big band sound from the guy who almost inve
Matthew Watters | Vietnam | 08/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Basie is still in fine fettle for his final studio album, his little piano intros and fills all choice Grade A prime in their minimalism. The rest of the band sounds a bit like a Generic Big Band, not altogether different from other late-period big bands from the late 1960s on, such as the Clarke-Boland band, Buddy Rich band or the 1970s Harry James orchestra. All of them had that brassy, hard-swinging sound that Basie's so-called New Testament band pioneered in the 1950s, so at least Basie has some proprietary claim to this style. And there's really nothing wrong with it: these guys are tight, and if there aren't any soloists as distinctive as in this band's heyday, the ensembles are crisp and exciting, the Nestico arrangements all richly textured. Bassist Cleveland Eaton fills Walter Page's spot admirably enough, so his slightly processed sound on a couple of tracks has to be blamed on 1970s recording engineers and their insistance on miking the instrument's bridge instead of placing a mike to pick up the sound of an acoustic bass. Only the drummer seems a bit bombastic for this gig. He's trying to channel Buddy, while I'm left wishing for the subtlety of a Jo Jones. But it's a small quibble. This is a state-of-the-art big band set, and a fitting bow for an Old Master."