Video: Count Basie at Birdland


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If you were lucky enough to see Count Basie live in New York in the 1950s, you probably saw him at Birdland, where his band was in residence for several months of each year. I can't even imagine how the Basie band must have sounded in that tight room, especially playing April in Paris. Fortunately for us Steve Allen did a segment on Basie and the band and took his show's TV cameras down there for the music.

Here's Steve Allen with Count Basie and the band playing April in Paris and Blee Blop Blues in July 1956. The front line of saxophones looks like, from left, Frank Wess, Marshal Royal, Bobby Plater, Frank Foster and Charlie Fowlkes, with a trumpet solo by Joe Newman on April in Paris...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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