The 1955 album that revived the careers of both Basie and Williams is reissued here with three bonus tracks. Williams's elegant style on blues and ballads is a perfect complement to the band's brashness; one highlight, of ... more »course, is "Every Day I Have the Blues," the Memphis Slim song that became a Williams signature. But the team also clicks on material as diverse as "Teach Me Tonight" and Percy Mayfield's proto-protest "Please Send Me Someone to Love." --Rickey Wright« less
The 1955 album that revived the careers of both Basie and Williams is reissued here with three bonus tracks. Williams's elegant style on blues and ballads is a perfect complement to the band's brashness; one highlight, of course, is "Every Day I Have the Blues," the Memphis Slim song that became a Williams signature. But the team also clicks on material as diverse as "Teach Me Tonight" and Percy Mayfield's proto-protest "Please Send Me Someone to Love." --Rickey Wright
"I Love The Blues Because It's So Natural. It's Life, Man."
Anthony G Pizza | FL | 09/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That quote, from Joe Williams as part of the liner notes for this remarkable re-issue, emphasizes that blues is not so much a rudimentary style as an approach to music and, especially, lyrics. It's a lesson Basie, Williams, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Bobby Bland, and a generation's country, R&B, and blues performers taught the rock and roll revolution that so quickly followed and incorporated them."Basie Swings - Williams Sings" joins jazz vocal panache to Basie's rollicking big-band punch. Williams sings circles around the melodies of "The Comeback," (with its stick-and-move sax punctuation) Joe Turner's "Roll 'Em Pete," (with Williams trilling "Ohwellohwellohwell..." as if he discovered a new instrument) and the huge R&B hit, "Everyday I Have The Blues" (later a B.B. King theme song). Credit Frank Foster's inventive, galloping arrangements (brought to the fore by Phil Schaap's excellent remastering) for bringing fire and funk to what otherwise would've been a swing-era holdover. On the ballad side, "In the Evening" brings flutes and clarinets into a sleepy blues tune that recalls Bland's later, "If You Could Read My Mind."This LP and its long-running success deservedly expanded and extended Basie and Williams' careers, stretching across pop culture from Basie's three LPs with Frank Sinatra (and a band still performing Foster's arrangements today) to Williams' casting on the "Cosby Show." Most importantly, "Basie Swings - Williams Sings" redefined big band music for the post-rock and roll era, making it essential to jazz, blues, and early rock and roll fans all."
Dying for a re-issue!
Sam Donnelley | Seattle, WA USA | 02/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the all time greatest albums. Nearly every track fills you with excitement and joy. But...this is one album that is begging for a high-resolution re-mastering and re-issue. The recording is scratchy, lacks depth, and the bass is nearly non-existent. Verve Records - Please Please PLEASE! Re-issue this classic album as a Master Edition! This should be one of the 10 most essential jazz CDs in every person's library, but it won't happen without a CD that meets the modern auditory expectation for jazz classics of this era."
Daniel A. Brodnitz | Alameda, CA | 06/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An excellent album. Great variety and the Basie band really smokes on this one. One of the other reviews talked about the Sinatra/Basie lps, and they're unquestionably excellent--especially the first one. But this title has an explosive quality all its own. Well worth your time."
Another Knockout with COUNT & Joe with the vocals!!
S. Henkels | Devon, Pa United States | 01/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You won't believe this album was recorded way back in 1955-56. The linear notes say it's Count and Joe's first together, with Joe "acting as a catalyst for this new band's self-discovery". I first heard/bought this vinyl around 1975, when I was fleeing from the top 40 pop of the time, and this album helped initiate me into classic swing/big band sounds, which has never left. Any quick first listening will quickly show how much rock and roll-type pop pales in comparison. Listening to these guys at their best is like working out with a punching bag that never quits. The CD also has three extras, one of which may be a standard, but I'd never heard it before or since, as far as I remember. It's the beautiful "As I Love You" , a nice quiet moment during an otherwise incredible up-tempo experience. The Basie catalogue is long, and at times mixed, but his band from this time into the early's 60's was the top, maybe the #1 of them all. Even more amazing that during this time, Count was in his 50's. Which just proves once more the timeless quality of his music, contrasted to the embarrassing stuff that most older rockers are still doing."