Buck, Buddy, Basie, and the blues; a natural combination. Count Basie is on this classic 1961 session only in spirit, but his inspiration pervades the album. Buck Clayton, Buddy Tate, Gene Ramey, and Gus Johnson were all veterans of the Basie band. Sir Charles Thompson knew and understood Basie's approach to the piano. The result was swing generated by masters from the era that bore its name. But this was not a ghost of Basie's small groups or an exercise in nostalgia. None of the musicians was over 50; each of them was in good shape and full of creativity. Clayton was still setting standards for jazz trumpeters. Tate was recognized as a major figure among Texas tenors. Their empathy and singleness of artistic vision made them brothers in the Basie tradition, and in the blues.
with Sir Charles Thompson, Gene Ramey, Gus Johnson