Count Basie: Li'l Darlin'
Count Basie (piano)
The Complete Atomic Basie (Blue Note 28635)
Count Basie (piano), Wendell Culley (trumpet), Snooky Young (trumpet), Thad Jones (trumpet), Joe Newman (trumpet), Henry Coker (trombone), Al Grey (trombone), Benny Powell (trombone), Marshall Royal (reeds), Frank Wess (reeds), Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis (reeds), Frank Foster (reeds), Charlie Fowlkes (reeds), Freddie Green (guitar), Eddie Jones (bass), Sonny Payne (drums), Joe Williams (vocals).
Composed by Neal Hefti. Arranged by Neal Hefti and Jimmy Mundy.
Recorded: New York,October 21-22, 1957
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
The “New Testament” Basie band that began during the 1950s retained all the buoyant swing of the early group from the 1930s. But the new configuration called for more polished ensemble writing, a task which Neal Hefti could accomplish in spades. The laid-back “spooling out” of the melody makes this the warmest and classiest ballad on the album. Wendell Culley’s muted-trumpet solo is as relaxed and moody as the entire chart is simply enjoyable. This original by Hefti remains a mainstay of the Basie band’s legacy to this day.
Reviewer: David Tenenholtz