This exhaustively researched work offers detailed information on more than 1,100 recordings spanning 55 years of Count Basie's performances. It also provides extensive cross-referenced listings of tunes, musicians, soloists, and arrangers, and an itinerary of the band's engagements from the time Basie left Kansas City in 1936 to his death in 1984. The main text consists of chronologically arranged, annotated entries on five different categories of recordings: commercial sessions, electrical transcriptions for use by radio stations, broadcasts recorded privately or held in radio or television archives, films and videos, and location recordings of engagements. The text is enlivened by comments on musical significance, personnel changes, and relevant news events of the day, as well as pertinent anecdotes. An appendix lists all known micro-groove issues of Count Basie performances, cross-referenced to the main text. The band itinerary, contained in a second appendix, provides an account of engagements in clubs and concert halls, at jazz festivals and racetracks, and even aboard ocean liners. A wealth of cross-referenced material is contained in five separate indexes covering all known films and videos in which Basie took part; radio and television performances; arrangers whose work has colored the Count Basie orchestra repertoire; musicians, vocalists, and other voices heard in the sessions listed; and tunes played, together with composer, lyricist, and year of composition. The volume also includes a bibliography.
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