Count Basie delivers a spectacular show live from Carnegie Hall on March 20, 1981 celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his illustrious career. This all-star tribute celebrates also features Sarah Vaughn, Tony Bennett, G... more »eorge Benson, and Joe Williams.« less
Ronald K. Goodenow | Northboro, MA USA | 06/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, it's good early 1980s tv video and the sound feels mono, if crisp and full. No liner notes. Who was in this Basie band (aside from some named, and very fine soloists, including Sonny Cohn)? Minor points. Here is almost two hours of big band bliss, most of which takes place in a very well (George Wein) produced Carnegie Hall program featured on CBS Cable in 1981. Count Basie was in his final years (wracked by arthritis which fortunately did not affect his piano artistry), though ones which saw some very fine Pablo recordings and reissues. His class and style are all documented here with a band that could swing and punch like none other of his or any other time. Throw in Joe Williams and Sarah Vaughan at the height of their powers (I'd pay the price just to watch Sarah sing Send in the Clowns, something I saw her do in person shortly before she died), George Benson when he cared about swinging, and Tony Bennett at his best, and you have a stunning evening that was fun and musically superb. The concert is introduced by flashbacks to earlier Basie Bands, a great interview of John Hammond (who discovered Basie and other artists on the film) and chats with the featured performers. Anyone interested in big bands, swing, and the history of jazz should both order this dvd and lean all over the company that brought it out to dig deep in the archives for more of same."
"legendary icon in his last televised performance ~ Basie!"
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 06/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When you think of the swing era, one name stands above the rest ~ Count Basie! He was the epitome of swing and stayed in the background to let his band do their thing ~ and do their thing they did. Just sample their legendary performance with "Count Basie at Carnegie Hall", featuring some of the top names in the business. Alphabetically we have Tony Bennett, George Benson, Sarah Vaughn and Joe Williams, plus the all star tribute in which we celebrate the 50th anniversary in Basie's brilliant career. On this premiere jazz program we enjoyed hearing and seeing "SWEET GEORGIA BROWN", "WELL, ALL RIGHT, OKAY, YOU WIN", "APRIL IN PARIS", "SHINY STOCKINGS", "BOOTY'S BLUES" and my favorite jazz tunes "IN A MELLOW TONE", nothing can compare or come close to that Basie sound. When Basie and his fellow musicians would swing, it would hit you right between the eyes ~ their delivery was like no other with a jolt that would send you into the stratosphere, gotta love it!Just a few words about Tony Bennett and Sarah Vaughn, they are in a class by themselves, quality and professionalism all the way. George Benson was just wonderful. But the highlight of the evening was Joe Williams singing his signature song "EVERY DAY I HAVE THE BLUES", a favorite of Johnny Carson (Tonight Show), Williams would always sing that song when appearing on Carson's Show ~ watch Basie's face when listening to Williams (his first son) performing that tune ~ much like a proud Father. Notice at the end of the show with the credits, Vaughn and Williams dancing the Jitterbug, hey they certainly could dig it...and I know you will when you watch this spectacular live event from Carnegie Hall on March 20, 1981...which was nominated for a Cable "Ace" award for excellence. If you're a Basie fan this is a must have...don't pass this one up!Total Time: 120 mins ~ Kultur D2120 ~ (5/13/2003)"
Great For Any Basie or Big Band Fan
Mark D. Allen | 12/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
this is an edition of the basie band that was stellar for so many reasons-great soloists-Kenny Hing and Eric Dixson on tenors as well as Booty Wood and Dennis Wilson on trombones. A sax section that had been together for 5 years at that point-a great bassist in Cleveland Eaton.
the show has a great segment showing vintage basie from the 30's thru the 80's-as well as a talent line up to go gaga over.
someone had asked for the personnel of this band so here goes: saxes- bobby platter-lead alto and danny turner kenny hing and eric dixon tenor saxes johnny williams baritone trombones-grover mitchell lead booty wood dennis wilson bill hughes bass trombone trumpets-willie cook lead dale carley sonny cohn bob summers rhythm section- basie-piano cleveland eaton bass- gregg fields drums. a must for any basie fan!!
mark noticably missing from the line up was freddie green on guitar."
Homage To Basie
Mark Alan Levensky | 01/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great to see/hear Basie, even in his last days, even in a wheel-chair. And Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughn, and Tony Bennett were fine--Vaughn's "Send in The Clowns" was sensational--although I wish Bennett had sung Basie, "Littl' Darlin'" etc., instead of Ellington--it was awful to see Basie put aside by Vaughn and Bennett's piano players--How could they! Did they think that Basie didn't know their tunes!--and Benson was irrelevant. Good introduction of historic Basie photographs and informal before-the-show interviews. Standard, well-done, video recording of concert: Low-key, nothing fancy, no calling attention to itself. Carnegie Hall wasn't a topic. Basie was beautiful!"
"It's Awfully Different Without You . . . Don't Get Around M
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 11/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The real royal blood is a real small amount. We've got three royal cats: the Duke, the Earl and the Count. And their sound never stops and they play anything, but in swing, one is tops and that's Count. He is king." ~ Jon Hendricks ~
This Count Basie concert at the Carnegie Hall on March 20, 1981 is one of the most remarkable jazz concerts of all-time with the special appearances of his guest artists - Sarah Vaughan, George Benson, Joe Williams and Tony Bennett. It was nominated for a Cable "Ace" award for excellence and it was a tribute to the Count's 50th anniversary of his musical career.
This DVD, which runs 120 minutes, starts off with a biographical film tribute to the King of Swing, Count Basie, who was born in 1904 as an only child. By 1936 in Chicago, John Hammond, who wrote about jazz on a publication in England and the one who was responsible for the careers of Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin, discovered Count Basie while he was sitting in his car and listening to a radio station playing "One O'Clock Jump" by Count Basie and his Orchestra. And the rest is history.
Count Basie, whose greatest influence was Fats Waller, formed his 15-man orchestra that played in New York in the early 1930's. The greatness of his band was attributed to his being meticulous about picking his musicians and treated them with respect, warmth, love and affection. He had the world's greatest rhythm section back then.
The concert kicks off with an instrumental performance of "Sweet Georgia Brown" by Count Basie and his Orchestra and ends with his signature tune, "One O'Clock Jump."
To me, the most enjoyable performances are as follow:
"April In Paris" - vocals by George Benson who declared that Count Basie was his "musical father." He presents his awesome singing style and his talent in scatting.
"Moody's Mood for Love" - a beautiful duet by Sarah Vaughan and George Benson.
"Sophisticated Lady," "It Don't Mean A Thing" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" - by Tony Bennett whom Count Basie introduced as "one of the nicest guy I know, the wonderful Tony Bennett."
"I've been invited on dates I might have gone but what for? It's awfully different without you Don't get around much anymore." ~ "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" ~ Words & Music by Duke Ellington & Bob Russell
"Indian Summer," "Send In The Clowns" and "Fascinating Rhythm" - marvelously performed by Sarah Vaughan with her trademark of effortless singing and clever scatting. Count Basie introduced her as the Divine One.
"One O'Clock Jump" - features George Benson as he plays the guitar and scats.
"Well, All Right, Okay, You Win" - great vocals by Joe Williams, whom I always remember for his remarkable song "Heart And Soul" with George Shearing accompanying him on piano (Lullabies of Birdland: A Musical Autobiography).
"There Will Never Be Another You" - instrumental by Count Basie and his Orchestra
I strongly recommend this DVD not only to the fans of Count Basie but also to anyone who appreciate the big band sound and since this is one of the few televised performances recorded for CBS Cable Premiere Jazz Program, this DVD is a worthy addition to your collection of legendary jazz icons of all-time. "