With Count Basie, Cleanhead Vinson, and Willie Cook all gone, there is cause for gratitude that Norman Granz thought in 1981 to bring them together with a great rhythm section. The result was one of the happiest of Basie's celebrated "Kansas City" sessions for Pablo. Cook and Vinson, marvelous soloists who deserved wider fame, were both great bebop players able to tailor their work to Basie's more elemental requirements without condescending or losing anything essential. Additionally, as he demonstrates to a fare-thee-well on "Wee Baby," Vinson was a terrific blues shouter. In his small groups, Basie the pianist was on more prominent display than in the big band, and there are plenty of reminders here that his keyboard talent encompassed much more than wryness and subtlety.
Opus Six, Vegas Drag, Scooter, Wee Baby, Blues for Little Jazz, St. Louis Blues, Walking the Blues, plus CD bonus track N.H.O.P.
with Joe Pass, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Willie Cook, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Louis Bellson