Count Basie & Joe Williams: Every Day I Have the Blues


Every Day I Have the Blues


Count Basie (piano) and Joe Williams (vocals)


Count Basie Swings / Joe Williams Sings (Verve 314 519 852-2)

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Count Basie (piano), Joe Williams (vocals),

Wendell Culley, Reunald Jones, Thad Jones, Joe Newman (trumpets), Henry Coker, Bill Hughes, Benny Powell (trombones), Marshal Royal, Bill Graham (alto saxes), Frank Wess, Frank Foster (tenor saxes), Charlie Fowlkes (baritone sax), Freddie Green (guitar), Eddie Jones (bass), Sonny Payne (drums)


Composed by Peter Chatman. Arranged by Ernie Wilkins


Recorded: New York, May 17, 1955


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

                             Joe Williams by JC Jaress

In 1955, after economics had reduced him to a small combo, Basie bulked back up to 16 pieces. His so-called New Testament band, however, did not radically differ from his late-'30s Old Testament outfit, except now he had no star soloist comparable to the incomparable Lester Young. Instead he had Joe Williams, a Chicagoan with the manliest baritone since Billy Eckstine and who, unlike Mr. B., could convincingly belt the blues. With Big Joe lustily yodeling "Every Day I Have the Blues" over the band's shuffle beat, Basie at last found the elusive crossover success that would thereafter sustain him.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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  • 1 Andy Karp // Mar 06, 2008 at 07:27 PM
    Thanks for shining a spotlight on Joe, Basie and the band, who swung the blues with such feeling and style. Also worth noting is the fantastic vocal version by Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert and Annie Ross on "Sing a Song of Basie," in which Hendricks not only nails Joe's lead vocal but all three voices magically recreate the entire arrangement. Finally, let's give Peter Chatman, a/k/a Memphis Slim props for writing the song.