Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie

Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie

by Count Basie, Albert Murray

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One of the great jazz memoirsSee more details below


One of the great jazz memoirs

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Long before he thought about becoming a musician, William Basie, son of a Red Bank, N.J., coachman and caretaker, longed to ``go on the road touring everywhere in the world of show business with a troupe.'' In these long, rambling memoirs, skillfully put together from tape recordings, the Count recollects his experiences as a traveling pianist in Missouri and Oklahoma, as a member (with Hot Lips Page and Jimmie Rushing) of the Blue Devils, as organist in a silent-movie house, with Bennie Moten's orchestra in Kansas City, and as leader of one of the greatest jazz bands of all time. Basie pays tribute to his colleagues and managers (and to John Hammond for ``discovering'' him), but does not hesitate to discuss their weaknesses and shortcomings; his language is direct and earthy. Although some of the book reads more like a catalogue or itinerary than an autobiography, it will have strong appeal for jazz buffs and fans of the late bandleader. Photos not seen by PW. January 1
Library Journal
Murray compiled this biography from conversations with Basie, who died in 1984. Basie is the narrator looking back at his first jobs playing piano in Red Bank, New Jersey; his performances with Bennie Moten's Orchestra in Kansas City; and his fame as a big band leader from the Thirties to the Eighties. Basie's entertaining memories of his early days of performing in movie theaters and sleeping in pool halls give a more colorful picture of life as a musician in the Thirties than would a conventional history or biography. His chronicle of later years of successful worldwide performances seems commonplace in comparison. Basie laughs at his own motives and foibles and reasonably and modestly assesses his talent in a colloquial style that makes this appealing portrait a valuable record of a personality and an age. William Brockman, Drew Univ. Lib., Madison, N.J.

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Da Capo Press
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5.56(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.07(d)

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