This unusual session appeared on LP in 1958, featuring Count Basie exclusively on organ accompanying Joe Williams' vocals over a dozen numbers, mostly standards. Although Basie's recordings on the instrument were sporadic, his style was not at all different from the one he utilized at the piano, filling in the holes and providing just enough backing for his very fine singer. Williams' vocals seem effortless throughout the date, though excessive reverb is frequently added. The unidentified rhythm section is anchored by longtime Basie guitarist Freddie Green, bassist Eddie Jones, and drummer Sonny Payne (who sticks mostly to brushes); what's rather unusual about the date is that Green actually takes several brief solos on his unamplified instrument! A muted trumpet also appears on the lush "If I Could Be with You," with the frequently omitted verse added. Other highlights include the easygoing swinger "The One I Love (Belongs to Somebody Else)" and a foot-tapping "Honeysuckle Rose." ~ Ken Dryden
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- Guard Sessions 53-54/55-56 (Smith, Keely)