Count Basie & His Orchestra (feat. Joe Williams) – Breakfast Dance And Barbecue (1959)

FrontCover1.jpgBreakfast Dance and Barbecue is a live album by pianist, composer and bandleader Count Basie and his Orchestra with vocalist Joe Williams featuring tracks recorded at a Disc Jockey convention in Florida in 1959 and originally released on the Roulette label.

In my opinion the Basie band in 1959-1961 was the greatest of his second generation orchestras. All 16 bandsmen were individually talented and played swinging arrangements with cohesion and enthusiasm. There were no second or third horns; all were first chair musicians capable of memorable solos. There was not a slouch in the bunch. When they played as an ensemble, they were awesome.
This CD is taken from a tape of a breakfast dance for the Disc Jockeys of America convention on May 31, 1959. The dance for 2000+ people started at 2am and ended at 7am. Basie and his band had been booked at Birdland that week. The band flew to Miami late at night, played the gig and then returned to NYC in time for their scheduled performance at Birdland that evening.
This CD is a recording of the entire dance program as it was presented at the Americana Hotel, start to finish. The remastering is superb; you feel like you are right there on the dance floor. The band is understandably a little stiff at first, but they warm to the occassion quickly. After a few tracks they hit a groove like I have never before on any Basie CD. This is Basie and the Basie band at its finest. I have never heard Joe Williams sing better.

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This Basie band loved to shout! Check out “Splanky”, “Cherry Point”, “Roll em Pete”, “Back to the Apple” and “Everyday I Have The Blues”. The closing theme “One O’Clock Jump” is 3:40 minutes and features Sweets Edison minus mute. There are 18 tracks total; all in dance tempos. It is said that Basie fed upon the energies of those listening and particularly from dancers. It must have been some morning.
Thank you Roulette for releasing this. The only downer are Chris Sheridan’s album notes. Mr. Sheridan does his usual accurate recount of history and attention to detail, but his use of words like antiphony, onamatopoeic and spiky detract from his review. But then my advice is don’t read — just listen, remember and enjoy what music used to be. (by Chris Liakos)

And here is the complete show !

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Count Basie (piano)
Henry Coker (trombone)
Wendell Culley (trumpet)
Frank Foster (saxophone)
Charlie Fowlkes (saxophone)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Al Grey (trombone)
Eddie Jones (bass)
Thad Jones (trumpet)
Billy Mitchell (saxophone)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Sonny Payne (drums)
Benny Powell (trombone)
Marshal Royal (saxophone)
Frank Wess (saxophone)
Joe Williams (vocals)
Snooky Young (trumpet)
Harry Edison (trumpet on 18.)


01. The Deacon (bonus track) (Jones) 5.53
02. Cute (bonus track) (Hefti) 4.10
03. In A Mellow Tone (bonus track) (Ellington/Gabler) 6.56
04. No Moon At All (bonus track) (Mann/Evans) 2.58
05. Cherry Red (bonus track) (Johnson/Turner) 2.39
06. Roll ‘Em Pete (bonus track) (Johnson/Turner) 3.12
07. Cherry Point (bonus track) (Hefti) 4.11
08. Splanky (bonus track) (Hefti) 4.16
09. Counter Block (bonus track) (Jones) 4.35
10. Li’l Darlin’ (bonus track) (Hefti) 4.08
11. Who, Me? (Foster) 4.00
12. Five O’Clock In The Morning (Williams) 2.54
13. Every Day I Have The Blues (bonus track) (Slim) 3.39
14. Back To The Apple (bonus track) (Basie/Foster) 5.33
15. Let’s Have A Taste (Young) 4.18
16. Moten Swing (Bennie Moten/Buster Moten) 5.18
17. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Charles) 2.37
18. One O’Clock Jump (Basie) 3.46



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“Count” Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984)