Anyone who ever heard Count Basie launch his band into a blues with several choruses of effortless piano has lamented that there is far too little of Basie the soloist among his recorded legacy. This shortage was rectified to a certain extent by the trio albums Basie made with Ray Brown and Louis Bellson in the Seventies, of which this is the sequel to the For the First Time (PACD-2310-712-2) set of the previous year. Once again, Basie's poetic introductions, precise calibrations of touch and coloration, and definitive swing create a joyous program of four venerable standards and an equal number of new blues. Bellson is empathetic throughout and dances with his brushes on "Sandman," while Brown's robust tone and earth-moving walking lines bring out the best in Basie the soloist and accompanist.
Sandman, If I Could Be with You One Hour Tonight, Draw, On the Sunny Side of the Street, The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else, Blues for Eric; I Surrender, Dear; Racehorse