The banjoist Elmer Snowden used the name Kansas City Five for recording groups in the 1920s. Oddly, Snowden was from Baltimore and Washington; he had no connection with Kansas City. In the late 1930s, musicians who worked for Count Basie appropriated the name. Their K.C. roots went deep into Southwest swing. Some of the greatest small band recordings of the Thirties and Forties were made by the Kansas City Five, Kansas City Six, and Kansas City Seven. In later years, Basie himself revived the name. In this 1977 recording, an all-star group of non-Kansas Citians joins Basie in a latter-day Kansas City Five that captures the vigor and spirit of the kind of music he played for 60 years. The repertoire is a bouquet of blues, originals, and standards. It includes two staples of the Basie repertoire, "Jive at Five" and One O'Clock Jump," and a sprightly treatment of "Memories of You."
Jive at Five, One O'Clock Jump, (We Ain't Got) No Special Thing, Memories of You, Frog's Blues, Rabbit, Perdido, Timekeeper, Mean to Me, Blues for Joe Turner