News
Top News

Anniversaries: William "Count" Basie Born 110 Years Ago

Born on August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey, William James Basie was taught piano by his mother. At age 20 he moved to Harlem, center of the jazz piano world at that time, and soon began touring with various groups. He first gained fame in Bennie Moten's band, based in Kansas City; when Moten died in 1935, Basie formed his own group incorporating many Moten men.

Columbia Records producer/A&R man John Hammond heard Basie's band on the radio and made the first recordings of the band in 1936, but it was when Basie started recording for Decca in 1937 that he made his most classic records. The three-cd set The Complete Decca Recordings is the crucial documentation of what may have been the hardest-swinging big band, and additionally shows why Lester Young became an icon of the tenor saxophone. Each of the three discs in this set is devoted to one year

See full article on CultureCatch