Friday, March 23, 2012

Count Basie and Joe Williams - The Greatest!! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards

I don't know a ton about jazz. I used to talk to this guy Vinnie who now runs Rainbow Records in Delaware. He worked at Hoodlum's at the time and we used to shop together at the now (sadly) defunct Eastside Records. He would walk out of the store with stacks of jazz vinyl telling me all about how his $40 record purchase would go for $200 or more on the East Coast. I guess it's no surprise that he's now running a record store on the East Coast. Anyway, he knew a ton about jazz. He would buy an album because it featured a dude who once played drums for Brubeck. I know a few of the major names in jazz, but I don't know anyone beyond the bandleaders and singers.

I bought this album because it features a major bandleader in Count Basie and a major singer in Joe Williams. I love Joe Williams because he has a lot of range. He can croon as sweetly as Sinatra, but can also wail on the blues as emphatically as Muddy Waters. Add Count Basie's big band to the mix and you've got a dynamite combo. This record features a bunch of jazz standards, which is fine by me. My limited jazz knowledge leads me to favor versions of songs I already know. There's a world of jazz out there that I have yet to discover, but for now I'm happy to dip my toe in the pools I know. This record is just that.

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