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Count Basie: “Good Time Blues”

The sense from “Feel Good Blues” is that this was the Count Basie Band just having a whole of fun. There are smiles all around and Basie talks over the music a couple of times. The Count samples at least two standards (“Blues in the Night” and “Salt Peanuts”) at the start. There may be others that I don’t recognize.

Nothing sounds quite as good and distinctive as The Count Basie Orchestra. The lineup, according to the video: Freddie Green (guitar), Cleveland Eaton II (bass), Gregg Field (drums), Jo Jones (guest, drums), Sonny Cohen, Peter MInger, Darle Carley and Frank Szabo on trumpets, Bill Hughes, Dennis Wilson, Grover Mitchell and Booty Wood (trombones), Bobby Platter (saxophone), Kenny Hing and Eric Dixon (tenor sax), Danny Turner (alto sax) and Johnny Williams Jr. (baritone sax).

Nobody was cooler than Count Basie. Check him out here and here as well.

Here is “The Count Meets the Duke” — i.e., Msesrs. Basie and Ellington — and Basie’s autobiography, “Good Morning Blues,” at Amazon. The Reprise recordings of Frank Sinatra and Basie is available at iTunes.


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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.