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Jazz Icons: Count Basie Live in '62 (1962)

 NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Jazz Icons: Count Basie Live in '62 + Jazz Icons: Duke Ellington Live in '58 + Jazz Icons: Ella Fitzgerald Live in '57 and '63
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Jazz Icons
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H9HWQY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,820 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jazz Icons: Count Basie features one of the greatest big band orchestras captured at the height of their considerable powers. Billed frequently as the Â"most explosive force in jazz,Â" this recently discovered 60-minute concert, taped in Sweden in 1962, highlights the legendary musical talents of this 18-piece band which included such luminaries as Marshal Royal, Freddie Green, Quentin Â"ButterÂ" Jackson, Frank Wess and sensational drummer Sonny Payne. This is the earliest known complete concert of Count Basie and his orchestra to be released on DVD. Stellar performances include Â"Corner Pocket,Â" Â"Old Man River,Â" and Â"One OÂ’Clock Jump.Â"

A lot of words can be used to describe the performance of the Count Basie Orchestra on Live in '62, an hour-long concert recorded in Sweden, but one will suffice: swingin'. No big band, not even the great Duke Ellington's, ever swung as relentlessly, or effortlessly, as Basie's various ensembles, and this one is a prime example. Having split up his so-called "Old Testament" band in the early '50s, Basie was at it again a few years later with this "New Testament" outfit, which featured great players like trumpeters Snooky Young and Thad Jones, trombonist Quentin Jackson, saxophonists Marshal Royal and Frank Wess, the eternal Freddie Green on guitar, and the amazing drummer Sonny Payne. The 11 tunes performed here (and reproduced with surprisingly crisp, clear audio and black & white visuals) include some Basie staples (like Green's "Corner Pocket" and Basie's own signature "One O'Clock Jump"), a few jazz classics ("I Got Rhythm," "Old Man River," "Stella by Starlight"), and three vocal numbers featuring Irene Reid. Every one of them is a delight, with superb arrangements highlighting the band's ensemble playing, masterful control of dynamics, excellent soloing, more than a few touches of humor… and, of course, that ineffable swing. Tough to pick a particular highlight, but Payne's lengthy solo spot on "Old Man River" might be it--not only is he a sensational drummer, spinning out rhythms as if they were melodies and never once losing the tempo, but the way he tosses and juggles his sticks is marvelously entertaining. A thorough and informative accompanying booklet more than makes up for the lack of bonus features. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic performance, surprisingly good audio April 11, 2007
The Jazz Icons series does a great service by preserving for us an important part of American musical heritage. I've been a Basie fan for a long time, and had the opportunity to see the band perform a couple of times with the Count at the helm, so I may be biased, but I think the Basie DVD is the best one of the series that I've seen so far. It features some of the Count's legendary sidemen. To name just a few: Frank Wess and Frank Foster in the sax section, Thad Jones and Snooky Young on trumpet, Sonny Payne on drums, and of course, Freddie Green on guitar.

Sonny Payne is on top of his game and is a delight to watch throughout the performance. Eric Dixon displays his big, warm tenor sax sound on a gorgeous interpretation of "You Are Too Beautiful." Other tunes feature impressive solo work from Wess, Foster, and Sonny Cohn on trumpet.

Any downside to this performance will be determined by personal taste. For example, the surprisingly up-tempo rendition of "Old Man River" is great, but Payne's drum solo is long and may try the patience of some listeners. Also, vocalist Irene Reid belts out her tunes with power and conviction, apparently trying to emulate the sound (and even the look) of Ella Fitzgerald, but she will not please everyone. By her third selection, I was getting tired of hearing her repeatedly shout in the same high-impact register instead of getting inventive with the melody.

For a 1962 Swedish Television recording, this session is remarkably well preserved and restored. It's in black & white, and the lighting is a bit off in some scenes, but the sound is great all the way. This is a collector's item that will be enjoyed over and over.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basie in Sweden October 2, 2006
A beautifully photographed concert from the vaults of Swedish Television.

A dynamic rendition of the Basie aggregation at it`s peak. SONNY PAYNE is a joy to watch,he literally steals the show with his fantastic drumworks and "tricks with sticks".Wow,he`s certainly in a leading role along with the Count.

It starts off with one of Frank Foster`s best compositions `EASIN IT` with fine solos and then ,what more to say,it`s all so gorgeous to be able to have this testament from a succsessful tour on DVD.

Don`t hesitate.You won`t be disappointed!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blast From The Past - Beautiful! January 26, 2007
Verified Purchase
At last, a DVD which has great historical value, great video quality (b & w) and good audio. Nirvana for the collector.

This is the way jazz DVD's should be produced - no stiff introductions (as the Norman Granz collection, otherwise fine), just a straightforward presentation of the music, which is great. The producers have apparently started with a pristine tape which belies its 42 years. The transfer is fine, and this is one great production, at a reasonable price too.

Five stars!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This DVD.. November 19, 2006
By S. Cox
If you like Basie's bands you will love it. Considering the year is 1962, the audio and video recording from this Swedish concert are near pristine. Amateur historians will recognize all the Count's usual suspects including Freddie Green and Sonny Payne, but I also recognized a young Thad Jones, Frank Foster and Snooky Young.

The performances here harken back to a time of civility, musical understatement, conversational solos and SWING. And thank goodness it is not a new production..otherwise it would be full of lightning fast video edits and shaky hand-held camera angles designed to keep an A.D.D. MTV viewer interested for more than 10 seconds.

This is a beautiful piece of history here. Don't miss it. And check out Reelin In The Years productions' other releases at [...]
They are responsible for releasing many excellent and rare performances.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC BASIE AT HIS BEST October 26, 2006
This is the Atomic band of the late 1950's early 60's which was the most dynamic of all the Basie groups after 1950. The relaxed swing with the explosive fills and breaks of Sonny Payne create an exciting tension that only Basie had the recipie for. The DVD is a great find and very special for fans of big bands. A beautiful presentation fitting the royalty of the subject.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding January 11, 2007
By jaybix
Every Basie video on the market is worth having, but this one is a must and probably the best. Not only does it boast such luminaries as Thad Jones and Snooky Young in their last years with the band but it also includes several seldom-heard items from the band's book, most notably great ballad features for tenor saxophonist Eric Dixon and trumpeter Sonny Cohn. In addition, the band's often-maligned drummer, Sonny Payne, is in top form, both in the rhythm section and on his feature, "Old Man River."

Great music at a great price!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can sum this DVD up in two words... December 27, 2006
... and those two words are SONNY PAYNE. To see the man in action is to experience a whole 'nuther level in drumming. From dropping atomic bombs to whisper quiet swingin' ride cymbal in the blink of an eye, Sonny Payne was the bedrock of this incredible group of musicians.

Look out for great solos from Thad Jones (how much talent did that family have?!), a three-trombone front line, and more.

As someone too young to have ever had the chance to see the Basie band with the man himself at the helm, this DVD is a treat. Must-have. Buy it now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Reelin' in The Years Productions presents "COUNT BASIE LIVE IN '62", features one of the best performances within the Jazz Icons Series to date --- Piano: Count Basie -- Alto Sax: Marshal Royal and Frank Wess -- Tenor Sax: Eric Dixon, Frank Foster, Frank Wess -- Baritone Sax: Charlie Fowlkes -- Trumpet: Al Aarons, Sonny Cohn, Thad Jones, Snooky Young -- Trombone: Henry Coker, Quentin Jackson, Benny Powell -- Guitar: Freddie Green -- Bass: Eddie Jones -- Drums: Sonny Payne -- and Vocal: Irene Reid --- Each is the special components of the "New Testament" Basie band.

Jazz Icons: Count Basie - Live in '62 (Track Listings)
1. Easin' It [5:44]
2. You Are Too Beautiful [3:38]
3. Corner Pocket [5:32]
4. Stella by Starlight [3:25]
5. Back to the Apple [5:04]
6. I Needs to Be Bee'd With [6:22]
7. I Got Rhythm [1:39]
8. Back Water Blues [4:33]
9. Alexander's Ragtime Band [3:02]
10. Old Man River [13:41]
11. One O'Clock Jump [1:38]
12. Credits [1:37]

16 page booklet featuring: liner notes by Chris Sheridan, rare photographs, memorabilia collage

Count Basie (aka: William Allen Basie)
Date of Birth: 21 August 1904 - Red Bank, New Jersey
Date of Death: 26 April 1984 - Hollywood, Florida

Here are some known and unknown facts about our favorite Jazz pianist and orchestra leader.

1. Pictured on one of a set of four 29˘ US commemorative postage stamps in the Legends of American Music series, issued 11 September 1996, celebrating big band leaders. Other singers honored in this issue are Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey; Glenn Miller; and Benny Goodman.
2. Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1981.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars cotton elastic-free socks
The unisox fit fine and are non-binding. Thanks. Will order more in future - you require more words? Haven't I said it all?
Published 17 months ago by maureen s giffrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!
Almost as if to say "There will never be another you" to a concert, that is what we have here. The Count, an all-star band, and Sonny Payne driving the whole thing. Read more
Published 24 months ago by wlipman
5.0 out of 5 stars Basie as his band really was!
I have been a Basie fan since I was a junior in high school and I am now the grandfather of seven, so you know how long that's been going on. Read more
Published on January 9, 2012 by Ken Lewis
2.0 out of 5 stars Not A Good Show
I was very disappointed with this DVD - They do the wha-wha with the trombones, the wha-wha with the trumpets, a couple of vocals, a long drum solo. Read more
Published on November 29, 2011 by John M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality of DVD
This DVD is excellent throughout, both video and audio. I have enjoyed it throughly.
Published on January 9, 2007 by Ralph W. Short
5.0 out of 5 stars Reeling in the Years Does it Again
'Reeling in the Year' productions has done it again. They've scoured the world for high quality footage that many of us didn't dream existed. Read more
Published on January 8, 2007 by Robert Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Basie? Get it.
The picture and sound are excellent and the playing superb. Don't hesitate to snap it up if you like Basie, and especially the "atomic" band. Read more
Published on December 17, 2006 by Nicolas S. Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars The Swing Machine
This is the Basie band at its best, missing only Eddie Lockjaw Davis. It swings and it roars. What a glorious memory. The film quality of this DVD is excellent, as is the sound. Read more
Published on December 17, 2006 by C.A. Arthur
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