Count Basie Orchestra (featuring Jack Washington): Somebody Stole My Gal


Somebody Stole My Gal


Count Basie (piano)


Count Basie and his Great Vocalists (Legacy/Columbia 66374)

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Count Basie (piano), Jack Washington (baritone sax), Jimmy Rushing (vocals),

Buck Clayton, Ed Lewis, Al Killian, Harry Sweets Edison (trumpets), Vic Dickenson, Dicky Wells, Dan Minor (trombones), Earle Warren, Lester Young, Buddy Tate (reeds), Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums)


Composed by Leo Wood


Recorded: March 20, 1940


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Jack Washington stands with Harry Carney as one of the first featured baritone saxophonists in jazz. Performing in Bennie Moten's Orchestra in Kansas City before joining the Basie Orchestra following Moten's death in 1935, Washington set the standard for the more traditional role of the baritone sax as a foundational force and harmonic colorist. While not featured in the front line nearly as often as Carney was in the Ellington band, Washington's rare opportunity to solo was approached with a youthful, crowd-riling vigor. As "Somebody Stole My Gal" begins, Washington immediately makes his presence felt (though barely heard) with fills between the trumpet melody. After Jimmy Rushing's vocal, Washington plays one of his longest and strongest documented solos. Note how the beginning of his solo is grouped into lyrical 4-bar phrases, and as the solo progresses he develops his lines into sharp 2-bar phrases in order to increase the drama and bring his solo home. A common yet vital improvisational tool perfectly executed here.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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