Count Basie at The Sand
Count Basie at The Sand
Count Basie (piano), Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor sax), Eric Dixon (sax, flute), Al Grey (trombone), "Sonny" Payne (drums)
MoFi MFSL 2-401
Mobile Fidelity Records : 2 LPs 180 gram
Numbered Limited Edition
Brand New and Sealed Record
A1 - Introduction
A2 - Splanky
A3 - I Can’t Stop Loving You
A4 - I Needs to Be Bee’d With
A5 - Flight of the Foo Birds
B1 - Satin Doll
B2 - Makin’ Whoopee!
B3 - Corner Pocket
C1 - One O’Clock Jump
C2 - Go Away Little Girl
C3 - Whirly Bird
D1 - Blues for Ilene
D2 - This Could Be the Start of Something Big
D3 - Jumpin’ at the Woodside
Recorded on January 26-29 and February 1, 1966 at The Sands Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.
Count Basie and Frank Sinatra had the perfect arrangement at the Sands. Before the Chairman hit the stage in Vegas, Count Basie and his big band warmed up the already enthusiastic crowd with a brief set of their own. A dynamite entertainer, the legendary leader causes hearts to race, hips to shake, and fingers to snap with high-energy readings of his trademark swing music, taken to feverish heights by both his first-rate orchestra and the incredibly swank setting. Fortunately, the finest of Basie and Co.'s introductory performances from the historic 1966 dates have been preserved here and serve as a seminal complement to Sinatra's iconic Live at the Sands.
Captured in late January and early February 1966, Live at the Sands (Before Frank) contains most of Basie's signature pieces delivered with an enthusiasm, style, and brassiness that exceed that gracing nearly any of the Count's studio efforts. His band is stacked to the nines, with tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, saxophonist/flautist Eric Dixon, and drummer "Sonny" Payne among the prized cast. The Sands dates marked the first time in years that these players, as well as trombonist Al Grey, gathered onstage together.
Encouraged by Basie, the instrumentalists engage in a series of call-and-response passages and standout solos, not the least of which is Davis' turn on a white-hot "Jumpin' at the Woodside" and he and Dixon's exchanges on "This Could Be the Start of Something Big." No slouch, Basie approaches "Makin' Whoopee" with graceful playfulness, and oversees the assortment of uptempo swing numbers and mellow ballads with astute melodicism. A sublime version of the Don Gibson country standard "I Can't Stop Loving You," arranged by Quincy Jones, can almost be considered a bonus.
No, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. And Basie and his mates have plenty of it on this superb outing. Big-band jazz seldom enjoyed such levels of rhythmic precision, expert charts, or unfettered joy. Unbelievably, this gem has been out of print for years, with original copies both on vinyl and CD commanding steep prices. our reissue restores not only the sonics but the record's place in jazz history.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, our analog version of Live at the Sands (Before Frank) gives you a dead-center, eighth-row seat at the famed Sin City club. You'll just need to supply your own table and cocktail. Renowned for its sonic clarity, transparency, crispness, and punch, the record is now tremendously enhanced, with improved tonality, a deeper soundstage, correct balances, and lifelike presence. Each horn occupies its own space, and Basie's transfixing piano – a focal point throughout – resonates with gorgeous detail and impeccable pacing. The collective's energy almost demands to be measured with an SPL meter.
This Mobile Fidelity LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed on virgin vinyl at RTI.