For the young Count Basie in Kansas City, the jam session was a way of life. When he took over the Bennie Moten band, through his ascendancy to the heights of the Swing Era and to the very end of his career, Basie remained one of the great jam session men. In his laconic, authoritative way, he galvanized sometimes disparate musicians into cohesive units with a singleness of purpose, to make beautiful music that swung. The leadership of a big band was demanding, but Basie always found time to head up jam sessions. For years Norman Granz saw to it that they happened in the presence of microphones. This classic Basie jam from 1975 brought together beboppers and swing artists with two loves in common. They loved Basie, and they loved to swing. Among these virtuosi, Basie steps out of his usual role as Mr. Ellipsis and gives a demonstration of the stride piano he learned from Fats Waller.
Billie's Bounce, Festival Blues, Lester Leaps In
with Milt Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Roy Eldridge, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Louis Bellson