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Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings

24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 19, 1993
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$12.99
$3.13 $0.94
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$6.79
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings + Every Day I Have The Blues + Nothin' But the Blues
Price for all three: $36.97

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

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

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 19, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0000046RR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Anthony G Pizza VINE VOICE on September 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
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.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hans Castorp VINE VOICE on January 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel A. Brodnitz on June 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jmoney on March 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Absolutely fantastic! Joe Williams is awesome and Count Basie's orchestra is in fabulous form. This album totally knocks me out. My dad had the original vinyl recording and I loved it from the very first time I heard it as a kid. Every song is top-notch. I'd give it a hundred-star rating, if I could. I consider it an essential CD for any serious music lover's collection.
To "a music fan" in Atlanta: Yeah, Frankie is excellent -- in fact, I'm a huge, huge fan of his music -- but c'mon, there ARE other noteworthy artists out there, and Joe Williams is certainly one of them. Sheesh!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "jetprob" on September 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was looking for something to complement my music collection comprised mostly of rock. This CD does an excellent job.
The only drawback is that some of the tracks have a bit more noise, or background hiss, than I would like; undoubtedly due to the recording equipment of the day. But I like the songs so much that that cannot deter me from giving this CD 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Albert Farr on June 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I loved it the first time I was introduced to it on wax and I love it now on CD. This collaboration is a seminal piece in any jazz library.

IMO, I think that those who criticize the recording quality (which I love), are ignoring the nostalgic effect that Joe's crooning helps to produce. I like the scratchiness and the tinniness; it adds real character to an already wonderful album.

And to the Sinatra fan...whatever. Two different artists, two different styles, two different followings. Don't hate Joe 'cause you love Sinatra; it ain't becoming.
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Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings
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