Count basie/88 basie st--XRCD--killer cd
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All of the Basie big band recordings on Pablo are great. Especially 88 Bassie Street if you're into vinyl, and its available as a 180g reissue.
There are - I think - three Duke Ellington records also on Pablo. Duke's Big Four is especially well recorded, but the others are good too. Most of the Ellington sessions on Columbia are well recorded. Try Festival Sessions.
Ellington: "And His Mother Called Him Bill", "Far East Suite", "Afro-Bossa", "Piano In The Foreground", "Such Sweet Thunder", "Suite Thursday", "Dance Concerts-California 1958-Volume 6". All are superior to the titles mentioned above. The first four are available on vinyl, albeit expensively. "Piano..." is a trio record.
Basie: "E=MC2" (sometimes known as The Atomic Basie), "Chairman of The Board", "Basie Plays Hefti", "Kansas City Suite". The first two are available on high end vinyl. Again, these are stronger titles than those listed above.
If you don't require modern sound, Ellington's "The Blanton-Webster Band", "Fargo 1940", and "The Complete 1936-1940 Small Group Recordings", along with Basie's "The Complete Decca Recordings", are jazz essentials. The Ellington small group set comes from Mosaic, the invaluable reissue outfit. Good listening!
Johnny Hodges was a featured sax player for Duke Ellington. Billy Strayhorn was Ellington's arranger. They made a fabulous recording called "Johnny Hodges With Billy Strayhorn's Orchestra". There are sound bytes available on Amazon, but I predict you will absolutely love it. Although I consider myself a "rocker", this is one of my all-time favorites.
Just wanted to add to this thread.
Recently "Basie Plays Hefti" became available on CD. (previously ONLY available on Vinyl - CD sounds like it is taken from a good Vinyl copy).
I can report this is an absolutely awesome CD and Sonny Payne never sounded so good!
It is light hearted jazz of a "pop" style but it still holds up against most Jazz out there. There are a few clicks here and there but we are talking a fairly old recording.
I highly recommend it. Most fans out there should have the more famous Basie Hefti collaboration "Atomic Mr Basie and this makes a nice addition.