Monday, December 7, 2009

Count BASIE Orchestra - April in Paris 1956

Count BASIE Orchestra - April in Paris 1956


The classic arrangement of April in Paris. Sure plenty of other big band leaders had one long before Count did it, like Glenn Miller (in a splendid Bill Finegan arrangement, with Bobby Hackett on Cornet) and Stan Kenton (with his arrangement from Bill Russo,) but it took Count Basie to make it a jazz standard. With the Basie saxes playing the melody and the brass providing the backing, it made for an almost improvised feel. It doesn't even feel like the arrangement is written out! Another classic cut from this album that went on to become a jazz standard is the one writen by Basie arranger Frank Foster, Shiny Stockings. After Count recorded his, Ella Fitzgerald covered it, then Harry James had his arranger Ernie Wilkins make an arrangement almost identical to the Basie band. And to my surprise, it's a better arrangement! Yes, even fellow Basie band members didn't realize that song came from their own book when they heard the James band play it. The main difference lies in tempo and the fact that James does away with the piano introduction. The main melody is no longer played with mutes, but with open horn and the James band is over the beat, instead of on it. Not to mention that Harry's trumpet solo is much better than the one on Basie's recording. Over all though, it is a great album. A real classic.
Count Basie- (Piano)
Marshall Royal, Billy Graham- (Alto Sax)
Frank Foster, Frank Wess- (Tenor Sax)
Charlie Fowlkes- (Baritone Sax)
Joe Newman, Thad Jones, Wendell Cully- (Trumpet)
Henry Coker, Benny Powell, Bill Hughes- (Trombone)
Freddie Green- (Guitar)
Ed Jones- (Bass)
Sonny Payne- (Drums)
A1 April in Paris 
A2 Corner Pocket  
A3 Did'n You  
A4 Sweety Cakes  
A5 Magic  

B1. Shiny Stockings 
B2. What Am I Here For  
B3. Midgets 
B4. Mambo Inn  
B5. Dinner With Friends

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