The best single CD compilation from Basie's best years
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Count Basie's greatest records came in the 30's and early 40's under the Decca and Columbia labels, and for my money, the Decca sides are the best. While the 3CD set, "The Complete Decca Recordings" is an essential piece to any jazz collection, some will find it a bit too much and a bit expensive. "The Best Of Early Basie" is the best substitute. Taken from the 3CD set (with the same bright, smooth sound), this compilation presents almost every great record from Decca. Not a single track is obscure, and as whole, the collection maintains a high standard of great, classic swing music. However, the CD isn't perfect, missing some vital tracks like "Swinging At The Daisy Chain," "Exactly Like You," and "Evil Blues." Unfortunately, MCA never bothered to re-issue the double LP "The Best Of Count Basie" on to CD, which means this is the only decent alternative out there to the box set. If you're on a budget, this is the one to get."
Spiffyhink | Texas | 09/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While the large collection of music on this album is excellent (21 tracks!), the sound quality does leave a little to be desired. I'm not familiar with the conversion process from analog to digital, so maybe the age of the original recordings makes it difficult to get a good digital sound; I wouldn't know. I'm not a stickler for sound quality, though, so the quality hasn't kept me from enjoying this wonderful album. I was a newcomer to Basie's music when I first purchased it, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Vinyl records may have aged, but Count Basie certainly hasn't!"