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April in Paris Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, June 24, 1997
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. April In ParisCount Basie & His Orchestra 3:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Corner PocketCount Basie & His Orchestra 5:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Didn't YouCount Basie & His Orchestra 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sweety CakesCount Basie & His Orchestra 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. MagicCount Basie & His Orchestra 3:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Shiny StockingsCount Basie & His Orchestra 5:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. What Am I Here For?Count Basie & His Orchestra 3:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. MidgetsCount Basie & His Orchestra 3:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Mambo InnCount Basie & His Orchestra 3:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Dinner With FriendsCount Basie & His Orchestra 3:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. April In ParisCount Basie 3:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Corner PocketCount Basie 4:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Didn't You?Count Basie 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. MagicCount Basie & His Orchestra 3:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. MagicCount Basie & His Orchestra 3:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. What Am I Here For?Count Basie 4:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. MidgetsCount Basie 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 

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April in Paris + Complete Atomic Basie + Straight Ahead
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: 1985
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B0000047CS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,422 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Basie scored a smash in '56 with April in Paris , and this mid-'50s LP (featuring the original Basie band) became an instant big-band classic. A slew of alternate takes join that hit!

Amazon.com

Count Basie's band endured because of its leader's uncanny ability to put together fresh arrangements and strong soloists while maintaining the band's unique devotion to swing; this CD is among the most enduring of the big band recordings of the 1950s. The title tune is present in a justifiably famous rendition, a performance of swaggering swing and passion that was arranged by organist "Wild Bill" Davis. Frank Foster's "Shiny Stockings," now a jazz standard, made its debut here, while Joe Newman's "Midgets" recasts the band as a bop combo. Throughout the recording are terrific solos by trumpeters Thad Jones and Newman and tenor saxophonists Foster and Frank Wess, all basking in the band's glorious swing. --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

It is Basie in the 50's!
Karl Anderson
This is a must-have album for Basie fans and anyone who enjoys post-1950 big band music.
James A. Vedda
This is one of the few discs where the outtakes are worthwhile.
Hank Schwab

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By "jdpedersen" on July 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I had a very tough time trying to decide how to rate this. On the one hand, it's something of a jazz classic, and probably the most famous of Basie's albums. On the other hand, the album is not his best. I've owned this album for a while, and although I have more Basie CDs than anything else, I just don't listen to this one that much.
For one thing, only the title track is really essential. I love "Shiny Stockings," but there is a much better version on "Basie in London." Some other favorites ("Corner Pocket," Sweetie Cakes") sound much better on the live "Corner Pocket" album. If you are a big Basie fan, I suggest you check out a few of the live albums, as Basie is ALWAYS better live. If you're a part-time jazz fan, or want an introduction, this may be for you.
To sum it up, I guess I'd say this. If you don't know Basie, this is a good place to start. If you DO know Basie, and still don't have this CD, you probably would be disappointed. I would rate this closer to 3 stars, but it does have appeal to new fans.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Hank Schwab on December 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the few discs where the outtakes are worthwhile. Usually, the differences are minor, and often I have trouble distinguishing one take from another. But here, they reveal Basie's re-working of some of the cuts at a basic level. The three takes of "Magic", for example, display radically different approaches to the piano intro. Of course, even without the outtakes, this is one of the highpoints of Basie's career anyway.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "loungelizard7" on June 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
April in Paris is one of those CDs you just never get tired of; like many jazz hallmarks, it invites, insists on repeat play. From the shimmering fountain of brass at the start of the famous "April in Paris" through the last scream of the Neal Hefti's jumping "Dinner with Friends," it's just irresistible fun. Standouts include Basie's trickling notes in the smooth vamp of "Sweetie Cakes;" Thad Jones' and Joe Newman's trumpets on "Corner Pocket" (the former quoting "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," no less!); the conga-lining, hip-slinging pep of "Mambo Inn," in a dynamic arrangement; the dizzying and hilarious melody of "Midgets;" and Frank Foster's bluesy "Magic," which should have become a standard. This, along with the Atomic Swing CD, is Basie New Testament at its best. Enhancing things is the addition of some wonderful alternate takes, which include a less-than-stellar "Midgets," "April in Paris" with a trumpet in front of the band, and count 'em--TWO different takes of "Magic." The fun thing is that there must have been some dispute over the speed, because of the three versions on this disc, each has a distinctly different tempo, decreasing in speed each time. Also, Basie's opening solos become more intricate with each take. No version is better or worse; in fact, they complement each other. The remastered sound on the disc is excellent; the band sounds full, robust, and lively, and the solos fly straight into your face. Verve hit a homer with this one, and it's definitely worth a listen.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Basie's "April in Paris" is probably my favorite instrumental. When I saw that it was on a regular cd and also a gold disc I wasn't sure that the gold would be worth the extra bread. Bought the gold and boy is it worth it! The sound reproduction is so accurate that you are with the band in the studio. "April in Paris" rocks with soaring trumpet solos and an arrangement of considerable wit. "Corner Pocket", another Basie standard swings easily, yet also shows the tightness of the Basie ensemble. "Shiny Stockings" and "What Am I Here For" are also sweet, swinging cool tunes. From beginning to end this album is chock full of Basie's coolness, humor and brashness. It's a band that doesn't say excuse me to anybody.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Wallace on November 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The tunes are strong, including several originals that became standards. The players are as sophisticated and unhurried as you could want, alternating humor and feeling. The piano playing is profound; the Count sure knew how to pick his spots. Some reviewers have complained that this is too laid back. I don't feel that way because I don't need to be steamrolled every time I throw a record on the CD player. This isn't jump Basie (which is wonderful stuff) but the band was plowing a new furrow in the fifties.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Don O. on November 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Count Basie's call for "One more time!" on Vernon Duke's "April in Paris" makes you want to utter the same words as the band finally concludes the song in a grand ending. The tune was arranged by organist Wild Bill Davis and under Basie's guidance, April in Paris swings. The album also includes the Freddie Green number, "Corner Pocket" and other notable numbers such as "Shiny Stockings", "Didn't You", and "What Am I Here For?"
Basie's sparse but effective piano playing is evident in this album. His introduction to "Corner Pocket" and Duke Ellington's "What Am I Here For" are examples of how one can be at the right time and at the right place. The piano never overpowers and yet binds the reeds, horns, and the rhythm section into a tight ensemble.
It is interesting to note that the trio of Lambert, Hendricks, and Bavan recorded a "live" version of April in Paris at Basin Street East in the early 60's. The trio paraphrased the original trumpet and reed solos with vocalese. They also did a Basie-like treatment of "Shiny Stockings". In a similar fashion, the vocal group Manhattan Transfer reprised Corner Pocket more than twenty-five years later under the title "Until I Met You" (see their album, 'Mecca for Moderns'). Like Lambert and Co. before them, Manhattan Transfer sang words to the original trumpet and saxophone solos. This wasn't the first time, though, that Corner Pocket had been recorded under the title Until I Met You. Tony Bennett recorded the song several years before Manhattan Transfer did.
With swing currently enjoying a revival of sorts, "April in Paris" and other Count Basie recordings become more than ever an important model from which young arrangers and big band players can learn. For the rest of us who love a swing or two, this album is a must. Go get it now.
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