JazzTimes (4/97, pp.76-77) - "...Count Basie never had a bigger hit than APRIL IN PARIS, and this album--starring the polished arrangements of Thad Jones and Neil Hefti--remains his best-known to this day. In fact, it has become an iconic summation of the Basie Sound....even a non-audiophile...can hear the difference in the Ultradisc..."
Count Basie & His Orchestra: Count Basie (piano); Marshall Royal, Billy Graham (alto saxophone); Frank Foster, Frank Wess (tenor saxophone); Charlie Fowlkes (baritone saxophone); Joe Newman, Thad Jones, Wendell Cully, Reunald Jones (trumpet); Henry Coker, Benny Powell, Bill Hughes (trombone); Freddie Greene (guitar); Ed Jones (bass); Sonny Payne (drums).
Recorded at Fine Sound, New York, New York on July 26, 1955 and January 4-5, 1956.
It is wonderful albums like this that really benefit from the age of the CD. This was crying out for reissue, and apart from the cardboard sleeve, Verve have treated one of the Count's greatest albums with utmost respect. The lush swing of the Basie band has never sounded happier and the addition of alternate takes is a joy to behold. Listeners will be reminded just how good this band was as they stroll through "Sweety Cakes," add a sheen to Frank Foster's "Shiny Stockings" and rip it apart with Neal Hefti's magnificent "Dinner With Friends." A highly recommended album just bursting with joy.
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- Guard Sessions 53-54/55-56 (Smith, Keely)