May 6, 1976 was a great day in the studio for Count Basie and seven of his closet friends. They jammed for hours and came up with enough material for two albums that are among the finest small-band Basie of the second half of the century. This one contains "Bye Bye Blues" at a supersonic tempo its composer, Bert Lown, would never have imagined; a decidedly un-balmy "Song of the Islands"; "Moten Swing," which harks back to Basie's days in Kansas City; and a memorable ballad performance of "I Surrender, Dear." At times, the four horns manage to suggest the entire Basie big band, but the dominant mood is of intimacy and camaraderie. The companion Basie Jam 2 is on OJCCD-631-2.
Bye Bye Blues, Moten Swing; I Surrender, Dear; Song of the Islands
with Al Grey, Clark Terry, Benny Carter, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Joe Pass, John Heard, Louis Bellson