Wednesday, April 8, 2015
"When John Hammond first heard the Count Basie band, it was a revelation.
The Basie players were very different from Eastern jazz bands. Much of
their music was based on the blues, and they had a remarkable
singer in Jimmy Rushing, though Hammond thought the
vocals were secondary to the remarkable dance music they brought
with them from the Midwest. Their rhythm section had a lighter,
more even, and propulsion feel that was the envy of every band
that heard them (Benny Goodman, especially, favored the wing
they generated); the ensemble was strong and brassy;
they had the ability to create spontaneous arrangements based
on collective experience; and their use of riffs and call-and-response
was state of the art. It was music of urban sophistication that
still retained a feel for the blues."
John Szwed, Billie Holiday
The Musician and the Myth