picture of Count Basie
Count Basie
The Count (*1904 in Red Bank/NJ) very early learnt to play the piano with his mother. When he, at the beginning of the 20's, came to New York, he met there James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. He worked as solo pianist, and music director for blues singers, dancers and comedians.
 
While acompanying a touring group, Count stayed in Kansas City (1927). Two years later, he joined Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra. After Bennie's death, in 1935, Basie founded his own group of nine musicians. Very soon, this group became famous under the name Count Basie Orchestra.
 
In the 50's, Count made a lot of tours around the world, especially to Europe (1954) and Japan (1963). He got famous for his cooperation with Frank Sinatra with whom he issued some records. A large numer of albums was recorded under his own name.
 
Since the mid-70's, Basie suffered more and more from a serious illness which forced him to withdraw from performances. In April 1984, he passed away.
 
Count's characteristic instrument has been the piano. But a very important encounter was reported by Count: Fats Waller was the organist in the Lincoln Theatre in Harlem when Count Basie first heard him. Basie spent a lot of time sitting in the front row near Waller's organ bench: "One day he asked me whether I played the organ. 'No,' I said, 'but I'd give my right arm to learn.' The next day he invited me to sit in the pit and start working the pedals. I sat on the floor watching his feet and using my hands to imitate them. Then I sat beside him and he taught me. One afternoon he pretended to have some urgent business downstairs and asked me to wait for him. I started playing while he stood downstairs listening. After that I would come to early shows and he let me play accompaniment to the picture. Later I used to follow him around wherever he played, listening and learning all the time."
 
Count played the organ like he played the piano. He died 1984.
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Discography
The Complete Paul Quinichette
EmArcy 175J-5-6(M)
released 1952
partially issued on "The Vice President"
recorded January 1952 in New York/USA
Paul Quinichette, tenor sax
Count Basie, organ
Freddie Green, guitar
Walter Page, bass
Gus Johnson, drums
The Vice President
TRIP TLP-5542
released 1954
recorded October 1951 to July 1954 in New York City/USA
Paul Quinichette, tenor sax
Marshall Royal, alto sax
Ernie Wilkins, alto sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax, bass
Henry Coker, trombone
Dicky Wells, trombone
Buck Clayton, trumpet
Joe Newman, trumpet
Jerome Darr, guitar
Freddie Green, guitar
Count Basie, organ, piano
Bill Doggett, organ
Marlowe Morris, organ
Kenny Drew, piano
Bobby Tucker, piano
Milt Hinton, bass
Jimmy Lewis, bass
Al McKibbon, bass
Walter Page, bass
Gene Ramey, bass
Les Erskine, drums
Gus Johnson, drums
The Greatest! Count Basie Plays...Joe Williams Sings Standards
Verve Records MG V-2016
released 1956

Count Basie, organ, piano
Joe Williams, vocals
Bill Graham, alto sax
Marshall Royal, alto sax, clarinet
Frank Foster, tenor sax
Frank Wess, tenor sax, flute
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax
Henry Coker, trombone
Bill Hughes, trombone
Benjamin Powell, trombone
Wendell Culley, trumpet
Reunald Jones, trumpet
Thad Jones, trumpet
Joe Newman, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Eddie Jones, bass
Sonny Payne, drums
The Swinging Count!
Clef Records MG C-706
released 1956
recorded February, July and December 1952 n New York, NY/USA
Count Basie, organ, piano
Marshall Royal, alto sax
Paul Quinichette, tenor sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax
Henry Coker, trombone
Joe Newman, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Oscar Peterson, piano
Jimmy Lewis, bass
Ray Brown, bass
Buddy Rich, drums
Gus Johnson, drums
Blues By Basie
Columbia CL 901
released 1956
compilation, recorded May 1939
Count Basie, organ, piano
Tab Smith, alto sax
Earl Warren, alto sax
Jack Washington, alto sax, baritone sax
Don Byas, tenor sax
Wardell Gray, tenor sax
Charlie Rouse, tenor sax
Buddy Tate, tenor sax
Lester Young, tenor sax
Serge Chaloff, baritone sax
Dan Minor, trombone
Benny Morten, trombone
Eli Robinson, trombone
Robert Scott, trombone
Dicky Wells, trombone
Buck Clayton, trumpet
Shad Collins, trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison, trumpet
Al Killian, trumpet
Ed Lewis, trumpet
Clark Terry, trumpet
Buddy DeFranco, clarinet
Freddie Green, guitar
Jimmy Lewis, bass
Walter Page, bass
Gus Johnson, drums
Jo Jones, drums
Buddy Rich, drums
Jimmy Rushing, vocals
Live At Newport
Verve VS-6024
released 1957
recorded live July 1957 in Newport, RI/USA
Count Basie, piano, organ
Sonny Payne, drums
Benny Powell, trombone
Frank Wess, flute, tenor sax, vocals
Ed Jones, bass
Henry Coker, trombone, vocals
Wendell Culley, trumpet
Frank Foster, tenor sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax
Bill Graham, alto sax
Bill Hughes, trombone
Reunald Jones, trumpet
Roy Eldridge, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar, piano
Illinois Jacquet, tenor sax
Jo Jones, drums
Thad Jones, trumpet
Joe Newman, trumpet
Marshall Royal, clarinet, alto sax
Jimmy Rushing, vocals
Joe Williams, vocals
Lester Young, tenor sax
Basie Plays Hefti
Roulette R 52011
released 1958
recorded January 1952 through April 1958 in New York, NY/USA
ext. release 2009 on Verve / Essential Jazz Album EJA 047
Count Basie, piano, organ
Bill Graham, alto sax
Marshall Royal, alto sax, clarinet
Frank Wess, alto sax, tenor sax, flute
Ernie Wilkins, alto sax, tenor sax
Frank Foster, tenor sax
Floyd Johnson, tenor sax
Billy Mitchell, tenor sax
Paul Quinichette, tenor sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax, bass clarinet
Henderson Chambers, trombone
Henry Coker, trombone
Al Grey, trombone
Bill Hughes, trombone
Benny Powell, trombone
Jimmy Wilkins, trombone
Paul Campbell, trumpet
Wendell Culley, trumpet
Reunald Jones, trumpet
Thad Jones, trumpet
Joe Newman, trumpet
Charlie Shavers, trumpet
Snooky Young, trumpet
Johnny Mandel, bass trumpet
Joe Wilder, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Eddie Jones, bass
Jimmy Lewis, bass
Gus Johnson, drums
Sonny Payne, drums
Jose Mangual, percussion
Ubaldo Nieto, percussion
Memories Ad-Lib
Roulette 500004
released 1959
recorded October 1958 in New York/USA
Count Basie, piano, organ
Freddie Green, guitar
George Duvivier, bass
Jimmy Crawford, drums
Joe Williams, vocals
Count Basie And The Kansas City 7
Impulse! A-15
released 1962
recorded March 1962
Count Basie, organ, piano
Eric Dixon, tenor sax, flute
Frank Foster, tenor sax
Thad Jones, trumpet
Frank Wess, flute
Freddie Green, guitar
Ed Jones, bass
Sonny Payne, drums
Count At The Organ
Verve 511022
released 1965
recorded July and December 1952 in New York/USA
Count Basie, organ
Illinois Jacquet, tenor sax
Hank Jones, piano
Freddie Green, guitar
Ray Brown, bass
Jimmy Crawford, drums
Paul Campbell, trumpet
Wendell Culley, trumpet
Reunald Jones, trumpet
Joe Newman, trumpet
Henry Coker, trombone
Benny Powell, trombone
Jimmy Wilkins, trombone
Marshall Royal, clarinet, alto sax
Ernie Wilkins, alto sax, tenor sax
Eddie Davis, tenor sax
Paul Quinichette, tenor sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax
Jimmy Lewis, bass
Gus Johnson, drums
Oscar Peterson, piano
Gene Ramey, bass
Buddy Rich, drums
Basie's Beatle Bag
Verve V-8659
released 1966
recorded May 1966 in Hollywood, CA/USA
Count Basie, organ, piano, trombone
Bobby Plater, alto sax, flute
Marshall Royal, alto sax, clarinet
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, tenor sax
Eric Dixon, tenor sax, flute
Charlie Fowlkes, bass sax, flute
Henderson Chambers, trombone
Al Grey, trombone
Grover Mitchell, trombone
Bill Hughes, bass trombone
Al Aarons, trumpet
Sonny Cohn, trumpet
Wallace Davenport, trumpet
Philip Guilbeau , trumpet
Freddie Greenm, guitar
Norman Keenan, bass
Sonny Payne, drums
Bill Henderson, vocals
Basie On The Beatles
Happy Tiger Records HT-1007
released 1970
recorded December 1969
Count Basie, organ, piano
Bobby Plater, alto sax, flute
Marshall Royal, alto sax, clarinet
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, tenor sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax
Frank Hooks, trombone
Bill Hughes, bass trombone
Waymon Reed, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Norman Keenan, bass
Harold Jones, drums
The Bosses
Pablo Records 2310 709
released 1974
recorded December 1973 in Los Angeles, CA/USA
Count Basie, organ, piano
Bobby Plater, alto sax, flute
Marshall Royal, alto sax, clarinet
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, tenor sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax
Frank Hooks, trombone
Bill Hughes, bass trombone
Waymon Reed, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Norman Keenan, bass
Harold Jones, drums
Basie Jam
Pablo J33 J20017
released 1975
recorded December 1973 in USA
Count Basie, piano, organ
Louie Bellson, drums
Ray Brown, bass
J.J. Johnson, trombone
Irving Ashby, guitar
Eddie Davis, tenor sax
Harry Edison, trumpet
Zoot Sims, tenor sax
Satch & Josh
Pablo 98834
released 1975
recorded December 1974 in USA
Count Basie, piano, organ
Oscar Peterson, piano
Freddie Green, guitar
Ray Brown, bass
Louie Bellson, drums
Basie & Zoot
Pablo 2310-745
released 1976
recorded April 1975 in New York, NY/USA
Count Basie, organ, piano
Zoot Sims, tenor sax
John Heard, bass
Louis Bellson, drums
Night Rider
Pablo Records 2310-843
released 1980
recorded February 1978 in Hollywood, CA/USA
Count Basie, organ, piano
Oscar Peterson, piano
John Heard, bass
Louie Bellson, drums
Yessir, That's My Baby
Pablo 2310-923
released 1986
recorded February 1978 in Hollywood, CA/USA
Count Basie, organ, piano
Oscar Peterson, piano
John Heard, Bass
Louis Bellson, drums
The Essential Count Basie Volume 1
Columbia CK 40608
released 1987
compilation, recorded October 1936 through June 1939
Count Basie, organ, piano
Earle Warren, alto sax
Jack Washington, alto sax, baritone sax
Buddy Tate, tenor sax
Lester Young, tenor sax, clarinet
Dan Minor, trombone
Benny Morton, trombone
Dicky Wells, trombone
Buck Clayton, trumpet
Shad Collins, trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison, trumpet
Ed Lewis, trumpet
Carl "Tatti" Smith, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Walter Page, bass
Jo Jones, drums
Helen Humes, vocals
Jimmy Rushing, vocals
Basie And Friends
Pablo Records 2310-925
released 1987
recorded December 1974; April 1975; August 1975; February 1978; November 1981
Count Basie, organ, piano
Freddie Green, guitar
Oscar Peterson, organ, piano
Ray Brown, bass
John Heard, bass
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, bass
Louie Bellson, drums
Class Of '54
Black Lion Records BLCD 760924
released 1990
recorded September 1954
Count Basie, organ, piano
Marshall Royal, alto sax, clarinet
Ernie Wilkins, alto sax, tenor sax
Frank Foster, tenor sax
Frank Wess, tenor sax, flute
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax
Henry Coker, trombone
Bill Hughes, trombone
Benny Powell, trombone
Wendell Culley, trumpet
Reunald Jones, trumpet
Thad Jones, trumpet
Joe Newman, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Ed Jones, bass
Gus Johnson, drums
1939
CLASSICS 513
released 1990
compilation, recorded January till March 1939
Count Basie, organ, piano
Earle Warren, alto sax
Jack Washington, alto sax, baritone sax
Chu Berry, tenor sax
Buddy Tate, tenor sax
Lester Young, tenor sax
Walter Page, baritone sax
Dan Minor, trombone
Benny Morton, trombone
Dicky Wells, trombone
Buck Clayton, trumpet
Shad Collins, trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison, trumpet
Ed Lewis, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Jo Jones, drums
Helen Humes, vocals
Jimmy Rushing, vocals
1939 Vol. 2
CLASSICS 533
released 1990
compilation, recorded April till November 1939
Count Basie, organ, piano
Earle Warren, alto sax
Jack Washington, alto sax, baritone sax
Buddy Tate, tenor sax
Lester Young, tenor sax
Walter Page, bass sax, bass
Dan Minor, trombone
Benny Morton, trombone
Dicky Wells, trombone
Buck Clayton, trumpet
Shad Collins, trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison, trumpet
Ed Lewis, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Jo Jones, drums
Andy Gibson, vocals
Helen Humes, vocals
Jimmy Mundy, vocals
Jimmy Rushing, vocals
Count Basie And His Great Vocalists
Columbia CK 66374
released 1993
compilation, recorded February 1939 through October 1945
Count Basie, organ, piano
George Dorsey, alto sax
Preston Love, alto sax
Earle Warren, alto sax, vocals
Jack Washington, alto sax, baritone sax
Illinois Jacquet, tenor sax
Buddy Tate, tenor sax
George Tate, tenor sax
Lester Young, tenor sax, clarinet
Elman Rutherford, baritone sax
Don Byas, sax
Jimmy Powell, sax
Tab Smith, sax
Eli Thompson, sax
Vic Dickenson, trombone
Theodore Donnelly, trombone
James Johnson, trombone
Dan Minor, trombone
Benny Morton, trombone
Eli Robinson, trombone
Robert Scott, trombone
Dicky Wells, trombone
Emmett Berry, trumpet
Buck Clayton, trumpet
Shad Collins, trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison, trumpet
Al Killian, trumpet
Ed Lewis, trumpet
Edward Lewism, trumpet
Snooky Young, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
string section
Walter Page, bass
Rodney Richardson, bass
Jo Jones, drums
Rossiere "Shadow" Wilson, drums
Shadow Wilson, drums
Helen Humes, vocals
Ann Moore, vocals
Jimmy Rushing, vocals
Lynne Sherman, vocals
Verve Jazz Masters 2
Verve Records 314 519 819-2
released 1994
compilation, recorded January 1952 through April 1962
Count Basie, organ, piano
Eric Dixon, alto sax, tenor sax
Marshall Royal, alto sax, clarinet
Bill Graham, alto sax
Ernie Wilkins, alto sax, tenor sax
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, tenor sax
Frank Foster, tenor sax
Illinois Jacquet, tenor sax
Floyd Johnson, tenor sax
Paul Quinichette, tenor sax
Frank Wess, tenor sax, flute
Lester Young, tenor sax
Charlie Fowlkes, baritone sax
Henry Coker, trombone
Urbie Green, trombone
Bill Hughes, trombone
Grover Mitchell, trombone, trumpet
Benny Powell, trombone
Jimmy Wilkins, trombone
Al Aarons, trumpet
Paul Campbell, trumpet
Sonny Cohn, trumpet
Wendell Culley, trumpet
Roy Eldridge, trumpet
Quincy Jones, trumpet
Reunald Jones, trumpet
Thad Jones, trumpet
Joe Newman, trumpet
Don Rader, trumpet
Flip Ricard, trumpet
Charlie Shavers, trumpet
Snooky Young, trumpet
Freddie Green, guitar
Buddy Catlett, bass
Eddie Jones, bass
Jimmy Lewis, bass
Gene Ramey, bass
Gus Johnson, drums
Jo Jones, drums
Sonny Payne, drums
Buddy Rich, drums
Jimmy Rushing, vocals
Dinah Washington, vocals
Joe Williams, vocals

 
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