18 GRAMMY AWARDS – 20 DOWNBEAT, JAZZTIMES READERS & CRITICS POLLS
This year 2015, marks the 80th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William “Count Basie” (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935, and proceeded to develop and maintain one of the greatest jazz orchestras in music history. With Mr. Basie’s meticulous attention to detail, selecting the very best musicians, and making sure that every tune could be danced to, The Count Basie Orchestra soon became the favorite for everyone to listen and dance to with it’s irresistible Kansas City Swing beat.
Count Basie was able to get many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz to be a part of his orchestra, including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Sweets Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, and Clark Terry amongst others.
The orchestra has played many times for Kings, Queens, and other members of Royalty around the world. Appeared in movies, television shows, tv and radio commercials, won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, and has 18 Grammy Awards, the most for any orchestra.
Today, under the leadership of it’s Director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world celebrating it’s 80th Anniversary and continuing the excellent standards in swinging and shouting the blues with precision, and continuing to be “The Most Explosive Force In Jazz”.
THE LEGENDARY COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA CELEBRATES 80 YEARS WITH THEIR FIRST CHRISTMAS RECORDING
Available now at Amazon
A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas! includes 11 holiday tracks featuring special guests Johnny Mathis, Ledisi, Ellis Marsalis, and Carmen Bradford. Released on November 6th 2015.
What the critics say…
“…tradition served up with unassuming style.” – The New York Times
“The core Basie virtues remain intact: meticulous musicianship, tight comradeship, buoyant swing…Barnhart and other soloists shine.” ***1/2 – DownBeat Magazine
“The 80-year-old Count Basie Orchestra is out with its first holiday album…Director and trumpeter Scotty Barnhart has kept the signature feel-good, blues-based Basie sound…” – Associated Press
“The title of the disc, A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas!, tells it all and it’s made possible by a big band full of solid musicians.” – Louisiana Weekly
“Launched in Kansas City, the orchestra’s swinging sound was made legendary during the Swing Era and has continued to enthrall big band enthusiasts with its resonance and articulate performances ever since. Their performances feature great soloists, many of whom have been with the orchestra for more than 20 years and exciting ways to hear big band music. So don’t miss this holiday event and come to hear long-forgotten carols and age-old Christmas songs that evoke images of long evenings in good company, logs in the fireplace, candlelight and swinging jazz.” – AXS.com
“Thirty years after its bandleader’s passing, The Count Basie Orchestra has continued to make music without any sign of slowing down…a fabulous piece of music…” – Music Whatever’s annual Christmas wrap-up