February 8, 2015
by: Dawn Pemberton
Growing up in my family the weekends, especially Saturdays, were reserved for chores and music. It was common to wake up to someone’s music blasting throughout the house, usually it was my Dad playing his records. Our parents definitely impressed upon us that music was a good thing meant to be shared. We’d often open up all the windows and doors while we cleaned and finished our chores. No one ever complained and come to think of it, our parents never asked us to turn down our music either. I remember hearing my first dose of Basie on one of these Saturdays. My Dad loved big bands and would listen to record after record. I can clearly see him sitting on the couch as he polished his shoes. Sometimes, we’d stop our cleaning and just dance.
I always thought that Basie and his Orchestra were magical. They were so skilled and could gracefully pack a wallop or be smooth and classy when necessary. From Basie’s tasteful and well placed piano playing, to the extreme use of dynamics and tempo, stellar ensemble playing, wicked improvised solos by some of the greats, stunning arrangements and swinging grooves this band could do no wrong. They were sophistication at its finest.
So, on this rainy Sunday, crank the volume, perhaps grab a dance partner or cuddle up, day dream and give thanks for the artistry and the mastery of Count Basie and his Orchestra.
Li'l Darlin' - Count Basie and his Orchestra