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"Count 'William' Basie" 

      In 1935 after starting a small group he signed up for a broadcast from the Reno Club's experimental radio station, W9XBY. It was on one of those broadcasts that 'Bill' Basie was transformed into 'Count' Basie.

      Basie takes the prize for the hardest swinging band of the '30s and '40s. A lot of the bands coming up during this period were moving toward flashy effects--using tough arrangements and mile-a-minute soloists--but Basie's outfit was made up of a bunch of guys that just seemed content to swing out, sometimes for hours on end, in the Kansas City tradition. They didn't write much down; most of the early sides are "head arrangements," basically extended variations that turned into songs.

      Basie's innate musicality. As a young man, the Count would play the piano using the usual number of notes for any given tune. But in later years, his musical sharpness became so keen, that he could actually capture the very essence of a tune in just a single fistful of notes. He became a true "poet" of the piano.

Click on the 2 Photo's to see them enlarged
Basie Touring Bus Basie Jam Session
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